Permits to enter Vic approved after delay

More than 31,000 permits to enter Victoria have been approved since the state launched its new “traffic light” system some three hours after border changes came into effect.

The permit system wasn’t available on the Services Victoria website until about 8.55pm on Monday – despite the changes happening at 6pm.

Among them was the introduction of a $4957 fine for those arriving without a permit.

Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville on Tuesday apologised to Victorians who were unable to apply for a travel permit, describing the delay as “terrible”.

“There were technical issues of trying to get this set up properly, with Services Victoria working through some of the glitches to make sure it was working properly before it went online,” Ms Neville told reporters.

“A number of people absolutely were inconvenienced, frustrated and probably quite anxious as a result of that. I thank them for their patience and apologise for what happened.”

She confirmed no-one was fined as a result of the delays.

“It is now working very, very smoothly; 31,000 people applied and have got a permit,” Ms Neville said, adding it takes about five minutes to apply.

Under the system, regional NSW became an “orange” zone, meaning stranded Victorians can come home if they apply for a permit and get tested for COVID-19 with 72 hours of their return.

Greater Sydney and Greater Brisbane, however, remain “red” zones.

Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien described the delay as a “complete debacle”.

“If you can’t run a website, how can you run a state?” he said.

“Maybe we should look at fining government ministers $5000 every time they stuff up.”

It comes as authorities prepare for the arrival of 1200 tennis players, officials and support staff on Thursday ahead of the Australian Open, which begins on February 8.

Ms Neville said all players and staff will quarantine at one of three hotels for two weeks.

Players and one support person, such as a coach or physiotherapist, will be permitted to leave their hotel rooms for training and treatment. They will be tested daily for COVID-19.

If a player or staff test positive for the virus, they will be transferred to a medi-hotel.

Ms Neville said the program was being funded by Tennis Australia and had been signed off by the chief health officer.

“We have put in place the strongest and strictest rules that apply for tennis across the world,” Ms Neville said.

Victoria has recorded no new local or interstate-acquired coronavirus cases for the sixth day in a row, after receiving 18,139 test results.

There have also been no new cases recorded in hotel quarantine.

There are 38 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, down from 40 on Monday.

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Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the move aimed to halt the virus at its source

The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.

More on Covid in Australia:

The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

People queue for groceries outside a supermarket in Brisbane on Friday
People queue for groceries outside a supermarket in Brisbane on Friday

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

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FA Cup shocks: Enter the giant killers – relive some of the greatest upsets

Take a look back at some of the greatest Premier League upsets in recent FA Cup history as the competition returns with the third-round stage.

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Greater Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown this evening amid UK COVID-19 variant concern

Greater Brisbane will enter a hard lockdown from 6pm on Friday after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19.

Residents in the council areas of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Redlands will be required to stay at home until 6pm Monday except for essential work, exercise, essential shopping and to access healthcare.

Masks will also be mandated for people leaving home in the Greater Brisbane area.

“It is incredibly important in this time to stop the spread of this infectious UK strain. We must act immediately, we must act strongly and we have taken those strong measures today,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters on Friday morning.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants will be open only for take-away service. 

Funerals will be restricted to 20 guests and weddings restricted to 10 guests.

There is a limit of two visitors in homes and people are allowed to exercise with one other.

People can enter Greater Brisbane during the lockdown period but are bound by the same restrictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the lockdown was a “wise call”.

“Wise call by Qld Premier @AnnastaciaMP to have a brief lockdown to enable Queensland health authorities to get on top of the UK strain case in Brisbane,” he tweeted.

“A big thanks in advance to everyone in greater Brisbane for their patience in coming days. This will buy much needed time.”

Tasmania responded to the news by declaring Greater Brisbane a high-risk area.

Any traveller arriving in Tasmania from Friday who has been in Greater Brisbane since 2 January will now need to quarantine for up to 14 days. People without “suitable premises” to quarantine in will be placed into a hotel.

Acting NSW premier John Barilaro said state authorities were working with their counterparts in Queensland but his state was not considering a hard border. But he said anyone already in transit from Greater Brisbane to NSW must abide by Queensland’s isolation rules, and act as if they had remained in place.

WA premier Mark McGowan announced his state would impose a hard border with the entire state of Queensland from midnight Friday, with travel only permitted with a police exemption.

South Australia has declared the Greater Brisbane area region a COVID-19 hotspot, with anyone arriving from midnight Friday required to go into quarantine for two weeks.

The Northern Territory Government has also declared Greater Brisbane a hotspot, starting immediately.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said this means “anyone arriving in the Territory today from these regions will have to enter mandatory two-week quarantine”.

The cleaner is Australia’s first case of the more infectious variant of the coronavirus outside of quarantining returned overseas travellers.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly earlier said the situation in Queensland was concerning.

“We do know that we’ve had cases of the UK variant in our hotel quarantine system,” he told ABC RN.

“And we do know sometimes with a very complex system which relies on humans, mistakes can happen. That apparently is the case here.”

The hotel cleaner’s infection ended almost four months of zero locally-acquired cases in Queensland.

She visited several locations while potentially infectious and contact tracers are tracking her movements.

The woman travelled on a train from Altandi station to Roma Street station at 7am on 2 January, then returned on the 4pm service the same day.

She also visited Woolworths at the Calamvale Central Shopping Centre from 11am to 12pm on Sunday 3 January.

She was at Coles in Sunnybank Hills for 30 minutes from 7.30am on Tuesday 5 January and a newsagent at Sunnybank Hills Shopping Town from 8am to 8.15am on the same day.

Residents of Algester, Sunnybank Hills and Calamvale who have symptoms of the infection are especially urged to get tested as soon as possible.

Additional reporting by SBS News.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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How to enter competition, BBL10

Banter has never been this rewarding.

Today, KFC SuperCoach launches the Buckethead Coach competition in partnership with KFC.

We’re looking for Australia’s coach with the greatest banter, who will pocket a major prize which includes $11,000 and become the official Buckethead Coach.

If you’re already involved in KFC SuperCoach — great.

If not, head to, enter your team today and then jump on our Buckethead Coach website and come up with your best piece of banter.

You can still win weekly prizes in KFC SuperCoach BBL by registering today.


All you need to do is upload a short video of yourself donning the Buckethead filter and delivering your best banter. Here’s how to get involved:

■ Open the Buckethead Coach filter on Instagram

■ Choose whether you’ll be a bowler, batter or wicketkeeper

■ Record your best piece of banter

■ Post it to your account, tag @buckethead_coach and use the hashtag #bucketheadcoach

■ Short-listed videos will feature on our site before Shane Warne and a panel of expert judges choose the Buckethead Coach.

The competition runs from January 7-21 and the winner will be selected on January 22.

As well as an $11,000 bucket load of cash, the Buckethead Coach will win a year’s worth of KFC chicken (52x $11 vouchers), a Buckethead Coach summer tracksuit, the golden bucket and a banter button.

To help get you started, here’s a reminder of a few famous incidents of banter involving our SuperCoach coach Shane Warne.

And a few of our favourite cricket cliches:

“Bowl him a piano, maybe he’ll be able to play that”.

“Knock his bails to New South Wales.”

“This guy needs a boat, he keeps going fishing”.

Our KFC SuperCoach experts have taken on the banter challenge and you can view their efforts on our Buckethead Coach site.

Now it’s your turn to get involved.

If you think you’ve got the best backyard cricket banter in Australia, this is your chance to prove it.

Check out our official Buckethead Coach website for more details.

The site will feature a Banter Board where the best videos will be uploaded throughout the competition.


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Where are border Covid tests Boris? PM under fire over plan to demand negative result to enter UK

Boris Johnson was under pressure to sort out plans to demand people have a negative Covid test result before the enter Britain. 

Ministers have indicated that such a requirement is coming in a bid to block any influx of new variants of coronavirus after a South African strain was found in the UK.

But no firm details have yet been released and the Prime Minister came under fire in the Commons today over when they will be brought in and how much notice will be given. 

It came as new figures from Labour showed that just three in every 100 people arriving in the UK are being checked to see if they are complying with quarantine requirements.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has written to Priti Patel to demand ‘an urgent review and improvement plan of quarantine arrangements’. 

He claimed the current system of checking up on only a fraction of people is leaving the UK ‘defenceless and completely exposed’ to importing coronavirus variants. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer took aim at the PM in the Commons today as politicians returned to vote on the new lockdown rules.

‘The Prime Minister knows there is real concern about the rapid transmission of this disease. There are new strains being detected in South Africa, Denmark and elsewhere. The quarantine system isn’t working,’ Sir Keir said.

‘The Prime Minister said yesterday that we will be bringing in extra measures at the border. I have to ask, why are those measures not introduced already? They have been briefed to the media for days but nothing has happened.’

Mr Johnson gave no details and only offered a bland statement, saying: ‘I think it is vital we protect our borders and protect this country from the readmission of the virus from overseas and that is why we took tough action in respect of South Africa when the new variant became apparent there and we will continue to take whatever action is necessary to protect this country from the readmission of the virus.’     

Keir Starmer

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer took aim at the PM (both pictured above)  in the Commons today as politicians returned to vote on the new lockdown rules.

Labour analysis suggested three in every 100 UK arrivals are checked to ensure they are complying with quarantine measures

Labour analysis suggested three in every 100 UK arrivals are checked to ensure they are complying with quarantine measures  

Nick Thomas-Symonds

Priti Patel

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has written to Priti Patel to demand urgent improvement to the travel quarantine programme

Mr Johnson said last night that the Government will be bringing in measures to ensure people arriving in the UK have been tested. 

But the imposition of a third national lockdown has prompted growing calls for immediate action and questions over why a requirement for a negative test before arrival in the UK has not already been introduced. 

Mr Thomas-Symonds said Labour analysis of Government data suggested just three per cent of arrivals expected to quarantine in England and Northern Ireland were successfully contacted by compliance checkers in the summer.

He said the Government’s Isolation Assurance Service, tasked with ensuring quarantine compliance, did not contact more than 1.9 million of the two million passengers spot checked by Border Force between June and September. 

In a letter to the Home Secretary, Mr Thomas-Symonds said the numbers were ‘deeply concerning’ and demonstrate that ‘efforts to track, trace and isolate cases coming into the UK have been completely undermined’. 

He said: ‘The lack of a robust quarantine system as a result of shortcomings from the Government mean that it is virtually impossible to keep a grip on this spread or other variants that may come from overseas, leaving the UK defenceless, and completely exposed, with the nation’s doors unlocked to further COVID mutations. 

The Labour frontbencher said there must be ‘an urgent review and improvement plan of quarantine arrangements’ rolled out as soon as possible.

The calls for action come amid growing concerns over a variant of the disease discovered in South Africa.

The Home Office defended its ‘stringent measures’, and pointed to its move to stop direct flights from South Africa to the UK. 

A Government spokesman said: ‘The figures in this letter are inaccurate. Border Force have conducted more than three million spot checks and PHE (Public Health England) have been contacting a further 1,500 people each day.

‘We are determined to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Our stringent measures, such as compulsory Passenger Locator Forms and spot checks both at the border and during quarantine periods, have seen a high level of compliance.’ 

Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference last night that the Government will be ‘bringing in measures to ensure that we test people coming into this country and prevent the virus from being readmitted’. 

Ministers are understood to be considering introducing a requirement for international arrivals to have a negative coronavirus test before travelling to Britain in order to tackle surging cases. Hauliers would be exempt.

Currently arrivals into England from nations that are not exempted under the travel corridor programme must isolate for 10 days.

But under the test and release scheme introduced in December, this can be shortened if they have a private test five days after their departure and it comes back negative.

During the first lockdown, the Government argued against introducing border restrictions while the prevalence was so high in the UK, with experts arguing it would do little to bring down infection rates.

However, a quarantine period was introduced in June after the first peak and when cases were more under control.

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Coronavirus live news: England to enter third lockdown as New York detects first case of new UK strain | World news


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Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Caps 2020 As Tesla, Nio Extend Gains; Five Stocks Enter Buy Zones

Dow Jones futures were little changed Thursday morning, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures, signaling slim gains to finish off an amazing 2020.


The stock market rally had a quietly strong Wednesday, even though the major indexes closed with slim gains. There were several breakouts, while EV stocks such as Nio (Nio) and Tesla (Tesla) powered higher, and small caps and growth names outperformed overall. Meanwhile, Bitcoin surged yet again to a fresh high.

Tesla and Nio stock continued to climb early Thursday, both boosted by analyst comments.

In Wednesday’s session, Visa (V) broke out of a base, with archrival Mastercard (MA) tripping some buy signals. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), copper miner Freeport McMoRan (FCX) and China e-commerce play Vipshop (VIPS) cleared three-weeks-tight patterns, on a good day for chipmakers, cyclical stocks and Chinese internet plays, respectively. Walt Disney (DIS) popped out of a short consolidation.

Meanwhile, Nio stock is still in buy range from a 10-week line rebound and other bullish signals. While 2020 IPOs Li Auto (LI) and Xpeng Motors (XPEV) face big tests, BYD Co. (BYDDF) is setting up in a short consolidation as Tesla stock rallied to a record high. All may get a sales boost from Shanghai extending a license plate policy that encourages EV sales.

Finally, tech giants lagged somewhat after big gains Monday. Apple stock and Microsoft (MSFT) pulled back. But that could be a positive pause if they form handles.

Why This IBD Tool Simplifies The Search For Top Stocks

Tesla, Apple, Microsoft and TSM stock are on IBD Leaderboard. FCX stock is on SwingTrader. Microsoft and Mastercard stock are on IBD Long-Term Leaders, while Visa stock essentially is a Long-Term Leader. Taiwan Semi and VIPS stocks are on the IBD 50. Tesla stock and FCX are on the IBD Big Cap 20.

Microsoft stock, Apple, Visa and Disney are all Dow Jones components.

Dow Jones Futures Today

Dow Jones futures fell about 0.1% vs. fair value. S&P 500 futures edged lower. Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.1%.

Bitcoin price ran above $29,000 overnight, but has pulled back Thursday morning to modestly above $28,000.

The official China manufacturing indexes dipped 0.2 point in December to 51.9, still indicating modest growth.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Labor Department will release weekly jobless claims figures.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.

Join IBD experts as they analyze actionable stocks in the stock market rally on IBD Live.

Coronavirus News

Coronavirus cases worldwide reached 83.20 million. Covid-19 deaths topped 1.81 million.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have hit 20.21 million, with deaths above 350,000.

The U.K. approved the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday. The AstraZeneca (AZN) and Oxford vaccine is faster and easier to make than the Pfizer/BioNTech (BNTX) and Moderna vaccines, as well as being easier to store. So it’ll be a major player in vaccinations, especially in developing nations.

A few batches of the Moderna (MRNA) coronavirus vaccine arrived in Texas last week outside of the proper temperature range. The Pfizer (PFE) vaccine, meanwhile, requires ultracold storage.

Stock Market Rally

The stock market rally had slim gains for the major indexes, but small caps and growth names did well.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% in Wednesday’s stock market trading. The S&P 500 index edged up 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.15%. The Russell 2000, which lost 1.85% on Tuesday, rebounded for a 1.05% gain.

Bitcoin price shot up as high as $29,000 during Wednesday’s stock market trading hours, clearing the early Sunday peak above $28,000. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been soaring, especially in the last couple of months. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), one way for stock investors to play Bitcoin, leapt 9.6% to a new closing high Wednesday.

Apple stock dipped 0.85% to 133.72. On Tuesday, the iPhone maker hit a record 138.79 high, clearing a 138.08 buy point, before reversing modestly lower. A high handle at these levels could be useful, shaking out weak holders with Apple stock up 12.3% so far in December.

Microsoft stock retreated 1.1% to 221.68 after reversing slightly lower Tuesday. A handle at these levels, near another resistance area, would provide a lower official buy point for MSFT stock.

Growth names generally did well, especially chip names. Software and red-hot IPOs were mixed.

Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) rose 1.5%, while the Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF (BOUT) jumped 2.3%. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) was essentially flat, down 4 cents. Microsoft stock is a major IGV holding. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) gained 1.85%, with TSM stock a top component.

TSM Stock Headlines Chips

Taiwan Semiconductor stock rose 3.2% to 108.90, clearing a 107.94 buy point from a three-weeks-tight. Investors could have started a position in TSM stock on Dec. 24. The relative strength line for TSM stock is at a record high, reflecting its outperformance vs. the S&P 500 index.

Among other chip names acting well, Monolithic Power (MPWR) is consolidating right at record highs and a buy point. AMD (AMD), Applied Materials (AMAT), Lam Research (LRCX) and Entegris (ENTG) are finding support or rebounding from their 21-day exponential moving averages. All five are on the IBD 50, like TSM stock.

Visa Stock Breaks Out

Visa stock rose 1.9% to 218.36, clearing a 217.75 buy point from a flat base that could also be viewed as a handle to a consolidation going back to early September. Investors could have started a position in Visa stock on Monday, as it broke a short trend line.

Mastercard stock climbed 2.6% to 355.55. The official buy point is 367.35, though 357.10 could be viewed as a handle entry. MA stock already moved above some early entries, including 348.09.

For both Visa and Mastercard stock, the relative strength lines have been lagging while the Relative Strength Ratings are lackluster at best. Investors buying these stocks are betting on an economic and travel rebound in 2021, boosting transactions, including lucrative cross-border payments.

Visa was Wednesday’s IBD Stock Of The Day.

FCX Stock

FCX stock jumped 7.2% to 26.53 on Wednesday, vaulting above a 25.53 three-weeks-tight buy point, according to MarketSmith analysis. That follows a powerful run after bottoming at 4.82 on March 18. The copper and gold miner is benefiting from stronger demand and prices as the global economic outlook improves.

Technically, FCX stock is just within the 5% chase zone, which runs to 25.80. But investors should try to buy as close as possible to a buy point in a three-weeks tight. Freeport is looking a little extended.

Among related stocks, Caterpillar (CAT) rose 1.9% to 180.04, rebounding from its 10-week line as the Dow giant moves within its own tight pattern.

VIPS Stock

VIPS stock jumped 6.4% to 27.76, clearing a monthlong consolidation just above a prior base. That pause included a three-weeks-tight. VIPS stock, like FCX, might be a little extended now.

Vipshop, as a smaller Chinese e-commerce play, may be less affected by regulators cracking down on giants such as Alibaba (BABA).

BABA stock rose 0.9%, continuing a rebound from a big sell-off. (JD) popped 3.9%, actionable as it clears short-term resistance and continues a move above its 10-week line. Pinduoduo (PDD) ran up 7.8% to a fresh high, looking extended. So do Baidu (BIDU) and Bilibili (BILI), which shot up 13% and 14%, respectively, on Wednesday.

Disney Stock

Disney stock rose 2.2% to 181.17, clearing a short consolidation that was almost a three-weeks-tight. This is a possible area for DIS stock investors to add a few shares, but probably not to start a new position.

The recent consolidation follows a Nov. 9 gap-up on the initial bullish Pfizer coronavirus news, followed by further big DIS stock gains.

Nio Stock, China EV Stocks

Nio stock jumped 4.85% to 48.38. After again testing its 10-week moving average on Tuesday and nearly touching down on its 50-day line for the first time in months, Nio stock is now 8.5% above its 10-week line, still actionable. It’s also broken above a downward-sloping trend line, offering another early entry. In another week, Nio stock could have a new base with a 57.30 buy point.

As for rival China EV startups, XPEV stock rose 1.8% and Li Auto 1.4%. The former is just above its 50-day line but below its 10-week. Li stock is slightly below both, though well off weekly lows.

BYD Group, a more-established EV maker and big battery producer, rose 2.2% to 25.71. BYD stock, which is listed in Hong Kong and trades over the counter in the U.S., has formed a handle in a short consolidation, offering a 26.30 buy point.

Finally, Tesla stock rallied 4.3% to 694.78, its fifth straight gain and hitting a record 696.60 intraday. TSLA stock is now roughly flat since entering the S&P 500 index before the Dec. 21 open at 695.

Bank of America raised its Nio stock price target to 59 from 54.70, citing the Jan. 9 Nio Day event and other factors. Masterlink Securities initiated Tesla stock with a buy rating and 750 price target.

Nio rose 1% early Thursday, while Xpeng and Li Auto stock climbed 2%. Tesla advanced more than 1% to top 700 for the first time.

Shanghai Surprise for China EV Sales

Shanghai on Wednesday extended a policy offering free license plates for new energy vehicles from year-end to the end of February. NEV vehicles include electric cars, hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles. Obtaining license plates in major Chinese cities can be very expensive, and limited. The Shanghai NEV license plate policy fueled huge November sales gains for Tesla, Nio, Xpeng, Li Auto and BYD Group, with expectations for more of the same in December.

After February, the EV sales picture could be more complicated, with the risk of overall supply exceeding demand. Tesla presumably will be ramping up made-in-China Model Y output, while Volkswagen should be doing the same for the rival ID.4. Nio, Li Auto, Xpeng, BYD and other legacy automakers and startups also will be have higher EV production.

In the short run, Nio, Xpeng, Li Auto and BYD should release December production and deliveries data by the end of next week. Tesla will release global production and deliveries figures for the fourth quarter by late next week.

Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.

Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.


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Delhi Metro to enter league of driverless train operators

About 37 km of Delhi Metro to be operated driverless from Monday, another 57 km will be driverless from mid-2021, informed a DMRC statement.

With the commencement of driverless trains on the Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line, DMRC will enter the elite league of seven percent of world’s Metro networks which can operate without drivers, said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation statement.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to inaugurate India’s first ever driverless train operations on the Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line (Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden) as well as the fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) services on the Airport Express Line via video conferencing.

After starting driverless services on the 37 kilometre long Magenta Line (Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden), another major corridor of the Delhi Metro, the 57 kilometre long Pink Line (Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar) will also have driverless operations by the mid of 2021, said the release.

After this, Delhi Metro will have a driverless network length of about 94 kilometres, which will be approximately nine percent of the world’s total driverless Metro network.

The driverless trains will be fully automated which will require minimum human intervention and will eliminate the possibilities of human errors.

Rupay debit cards

In another move, anyone carrying a RuPay -Debit Card issued recently in the last 18 months by 23 banks (all these are National Common Mobility Card compliant as per directions of the Department of Financial Services, Government of India) from any part of the country will be able to travel on the Airport Express line using that card. The same facility will become available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022, it added.

The Delhi Metro currently operates on a network of about 390 kilometres with 285 stations spanning 11 corridors (including NOIDA – Greater NOIDA).

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Australian captain Tim Paine asks broadcast staff to enter biosecure bubble to ensure January 7 Sydney Test


The MCG is on standby for the third Test, however a proposal from NSW figures to have back-to-back Tests in Sydney – which would have circumvented the need to head to appease the Queensland government – fell flat.

While a bubble would be a foreign experience for the staff, it has become the norm for the nation’s leading players, some of whom have headed from hub to hub since the white-ball tour of England in September, which was followed by the Indian Premier League season in the UAE.

Speaking after training on Friday, Paine said he was hopeful staff would put their hands up to head into a bubble in order to allow the Sydney Test goes ahead.

“If that’s what it takes to get the Sydney Test up and going, then whilst it’s not ideal I think it’s a small sacrifice for everyone to make,” Paine said.

“I know the boys would certainly be excited to have another few people into the hub to talk to, I think we’re getting sick of each other. If we get a few more people that we can chat to I think it would be good fun. That’s a decision they’ll have to make. As I’ve said before, the hub life is not that bad, it’s not like we’re in jail or anything like that, it’s still a pretty good way of living. I don’t think any of us complain.”


He added that the Sydney Test – known for more than a decade as the “pink Test” for the McGrath Foundation – was a special event on the calendar.

“There’s no doubt the New Year’s Test in Sydney is a huge part of the Australian summer. And for our team, we’ve got so many guys from Sydney and NSW, so they love playing in front of their home crowds and having their families around, so hopefully that can get off the ground. I think at the moment that is the plan. I’ve been pushing hard behind the scenes for [Hobart’s] Blundstone Arena if it’s not but I don’t think that’s going to happen, so the next best place is the SCG.”

Paine, meanwhile, acknowledged that the Boxing Day Test had a strange feel about it given capacity at the MCG is limited to 30,000 per day. But he said that was vastly better than nothing, which looked a distinct possibility as Victoria battled through a horrendous winter.

“It’s going to be different isn’t it. Seeing the MCG sometimes with 30,000 you’re a bit disappointed when you turn up and I think tomorrow again it’s going to have a completely different feel. Victoria’s had harsher lockdowns than most of us, so to have 30,000 people there, if you had have told us that a few months ago I don’t think we would have believed you. I think we’re just lucky to be playing a Boxing Day Test at the MCG.”

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