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Quest Means Business

U.S. And Other Nations To Release Emergency Oil Reserves; Unite The Right Planners To Pay $11 Million Over 2017 Violence; W.H.O. Says Europe's COVID Death Toll Could Hit Two Million By March; Zoom Shares Sink As Revenues Slow; Dollar Tree Hikes Most Prices By 25 Percent; Dash To The Bell. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 23, 2021 - 15:00   ET



ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS HOST: Stocks are still recovering from Monday's late selling with tech shares falling sharply.

Those are the markets and these are the main events.

Joe Biden goes to the emergency reserves, but can't stop oil prices from rising further.

AstraZeneca's CEO tells us how Europe should handle its COVID crisis.

And shares in Zoom are shooting in the wrong direction as workers return to the office.

Live from New York. It's Tuesday, November the 23rd. I'm Alison Kosik and this QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening. Tonight, Joe Biden says he wants to lead the international charge against rising oil prices. The U.S. President says it will take a

global effort to force down prices after the United States agreed to release 50 million barrels of oil from its emergency reserves along with

several other countries.

Oil prices have almost doubled over the past year, thanks to COVID restrictions being lifted and energy supply problems around the world. And

today's announcement hasn't stopped that trend. Prices were up around two percent or more, earlier in the session. President Biden admits it could

take time to see real results.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, we're launching a major effort to moderate the price of oil, an effort that will span the

globe in its reach and ultimately reach your corner gas station God- willing.

I've worked hard these past few weeks in calls and meetings with foreign leaders, policymakers to put together the building blocks for today's

global announcement. And while our combined actions will not solve the problem of high gas prices overnight, it will make a difference.


KOSIK: Mr. Biden has already been privately advised that this move won't do much to bring oil prices down. Fifty million extra barrels of oil may

sound like a lot, but it won't plug that shortfall for very long.

Since April, OPEC+ has been holding back roughly eight million barrels a day from the oil markets. They are gradually rolling those cuts back. But

this 50 million barrels from the U.S. will only make up the difference for about a week, and 50 million barrels of oil doesn't go a long way either.

The U.S. economy uses about 18 million barrels every single day.

Matt Egan joins me live now. Matt, you know, there is a lot of petrol politics in this decision, I would imagine because President Biden has been

under real pressure to do something about rising gas prices for Americans, something being attributed to his fall in popularity. Even he is admitting

tapping the reserves won't bring down prices.

So what's the point here? What will it do? Is this just a fancy headline that grabs everybody's attention?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Alison, Republicans and Democrats have been calling for the White House to do something, and now, they have. This is

President Biden's break the glass moment on gas prices, and it does show that they are taking this very seriously and that they are listening to the

concerns of voters who are not happy about the seven-year high in gas prices.

But we do need to caution people, you know, this is not going to be a magic wand that suddenly makes gasoline cheap again. The experts that I'm talking

to they say that yes, gas prices could come down 10 cents, 15, maybe 20 cents a gallon, but no one is calling for a dramatic decline in gas prices,

not even the White House.

As you mentioned, President Biden has been advised that this is not going to solve all of the issues. And that's because it doesn't really get at the

underlying supply demand issue. Supply, most notably from OPEC, but also from U.S. oil producers, has not kept up with surging demand as the world

economy comes out of COVID.

Also to those numbers that we're talking about, 50 million barrels from the United States. That is the biggest release from the SPR on record. But that

only covers half a day of the world's 100 million barrel consumption. So you can see how it doesn't really go that far. Also, it was so interesting

to see how the market reacted when these headlines hit early this morning. We saw oil prices fall by about two percent, but that has completely

reversed, prices up now two percent, three percent.

Some of that is the typical, you know reaction when they react to a rumor - - they buy the rumor sell the news, this is sort of the opposite of that. But I also think there is some uncertainty here about the details.


We know the U.S. is contributing 50 million barrels. We know that some other countries are joining in, too, but we don't know what China is going

to contribute, and that is the big wildcard as far as the releases here go.

And President Biden, he mentioned the countries that are joining this and when he referenced China, he said China may join in. So, you can see how if

China ends up not being a major contributor that could end up, you know, being pretty bullish for prices?

KOSIK: Oh, it's a complicated web, isn't it? I'll just have to keep on holding my breath as I fill up the tank in my car.

Matt Egan, thanks so much.

The question is how OPEC will be responding now to these attempts from Washington to get more oil onto the market. China is the only major

producer that has joined the United States with today's deal as you heard.

Of the top 10 oil producers, half of them are OPEC members, as well as Russia, which is part of OPEC+. Led by Saudi Arabia, they are in the

driver's seat for global oil production.

Nic Robertson is our international diplomatic editor in London, and he joins me now. So Nic, we know with this coordinated release of oil

reserves, you know, among the U.S., among other countries, are battle lines actually being drawn with OPEC because won't OPEC just keep more oil off

the market, you know, as much as an SPR release is putting onto the market in order to maintain these higher prices?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's certainly in the interests of countries like Saudi Arabia to keep the price of oil high.

Russia, too, has obviously not heeded President Biden's desires to increase its output sufficiently.

You know, from a Saudi perspective, there is a real resistance to follow what President Biden is saying in as much as you know, analysts that I've

spoken to here in London and Saudis as well, it is kind of this problem that President Biden has as a domestic U.S. political issue.

You know, there are higher oil prices here in the U.K., but they really see this -- President Biden speaking out about this, because it's a domestic

political issue that hurts him. The Saudis, for example, have their own domestic priorities. The high price of oil helps fund their transition away

from you know, from gas products, from oil products. This is something that they're doing over a number of years.

So they have an interest in maintaining that price high. Their relationship with the United States at the moment is not particularly good. That's the

same with Russia as well.

So, you know, at a sort of a diplomatic, international political level, the countries and Saudi in particular would traditionally be a swing producer,

don't have that vested interest to help the United States out.

So, you know, is this going to cause OPEC to just take retaliatory action and therefore withhold more? They're not making that kind of noise at the

moment, but they're looking out these individual big producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia are looking out for their own interests. They don't feel

the need to help President Biden out just now and they're willing to live with whatever consequences may come with that.

I think there's one other thing to throw in here. They're also saying, the oil analysts I'm talking to here are also saying, Russia and Saudi Arabia

are not entirely convinced that this surge that has come at the back end of COVID or this phase of the COVID pandemic is going to stay.

They are looking at the figures of an increase of COVID outbreak in Europe, and they are wondering if that's going to tamp down demand, so they don't

want to over produce for that. So, there is a number of factors at play here.

KOSIK: All right, and OPEC+ is scheduled to meet next week about oil production policy for January. It will be interesting to see what comes out

of that meeting. Nic Robertson, thanks so much for breaking all of that down.

AstraZeneca welcome to Prince Charles to its new research center in England earlier. Up next, our interview with the company's chief executive on the

COVID vaccine and Europe's new wave of the virus.



KOSIK: A partial verdict has been reached in the trial of the white supremacists who planned the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in

Charlottesville, Virginia. They will have to pay $11 million in punitive damages to the plaintiffs who include town residents and counter protesters

who were injured during the rally.

The jury did not rule on all of the claims, but did rule that all the defendants violated a Virginia State conspiracy law.

The World Health Organization says Europe is on track to record its two millionth COVID death by March. It says unvaccinated people, the delta

variant, and relaxed safety measures have prolonged the pandemic there and it warns that hospitals and intensive care units across the continent will

likely be under pressure this winter.

In the U.K., hospitalizations have been falling. That's despite new COVID cases remaining near record levels. The head of AstraZeneca is claiming

without specific proof that his company's vaccine could be a reason why.

AstraZeneca opened a new research center today in Cambridge, England and CNN's Anna Stewart is there and spoke to Chief Executive, Pascal Soriot.

So I'm curious, Anna, about this link that AstraZeneca's CEO is making with the COVID vaccine to the U.K.'s hospitalization rate. What are critics

saying about this?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, I mean, this was a big day for AstraZeneca. It is the first time we've actually had a sit down interview

since the pandemic began. And of course, so much has happened over the last few years. It's been incredibly busy developing that vaccine, one of the

first vaccines to come out, also a cocktail antibody jab.

And around the world, they have now delivered over two billion doses of this vaccine with partners. Now, as you've said, today was launching the

R&D facility that was attended by Prince Charles. Little surprise there. He is a climate advocate and this is a climate friendly building. It has 174

boreholes underground, using geothermal energy and it cost $1.3 billion.

Now, I started by asking Mr. Soriot, what he is most proud of achieving over the last two years.


PASCAL SORIOT, CEO, ASTRAZENECA: It's an incredibly exciting day for all of us. We've been waiting for this day for many years now.

Number one, I think what is exciting is the location. We are at the heart of the Cambridge Biosensors Campus surrounded by some of the best academic

institutions in the world, and it is a great life sciences research development ecosystem here.

And secondly, the building itself is a great building in the sense that it welcomes collaboration.

STEWART: From the last two years, what are you most proud of that's been developed by AstraZeneca? Because I was wondering this, is it the COVID-19

vaccine or some of your other treatments like breast cancer?

SORIOT: Yes, often people ask me that question. And the answer is, I like them all. You know, those -- we have many, many products across all the

therapy areas we focus on, many products that are making huge difference to Medicine. In cancer, of course, recently we had the results of a clinical

trial that showed fantastic results in breast cancer and of course the vaccine is an important part.

We also have a long-acting antibody for people who have depressed immune system.

STEWART: The antibody cocktail jab.

SORIOT: That's right, for people who actually do not respond well to vaccination from transplanted patients, cancer patients, patients who are

on dialysis, patients who take immune suppressive therapy.

STEWART: The trial data from this has been really promising. When will we see it being authorized?

SORIOT: We hope soon. We are waiting for an emergency authorization in the U.S. very soon. We have approval in Bahrain already. That's the first

country in the world. We hope to get approval in a few other countries very soon.

So over the next few weeks, I hope that we can start delivering this product.

STEWART: So let's go back to the COVID-19 vaccine, which is actually a very small part of your overall business, but it has been critical around

the world and you've delivered with your partners, I think two billion doses so far.

And yet, it's actually in some ways damaged AstraZeneca's brand. There's been all sorts of setbacks -- the delayed deliveries to Europe, the rare

side effects that limited its use in certain countries, slightly lower efficacy rates than mRNA vaccines. Has it been frustrating for you that

instead of plaudits, it has generated a lot of negative headlines?

SORIOT: Not at all, you know, people sometimes forget that, if you can -- you can add the U.S. and Europe together, and you still only have a bit

more than 10 percent of the global population. So you have another six billion or more people living outside those regions. And in many of those

countries, the vaccine has been critical for people.

The efficacy is actually very good, which is, you know, at six months, if you look at severe disease, we have 97 percent protection, and we believe

that the efficacy can be quite durable because of this T-cell stimulation.

STEWART: So do you think the immunity from your vaccine could have a longer duration than some of the mRNA ones?

SORIOT: We don't know the answer to this, and we have to see and get more data and follow up these vaccines to see how durable they are. But what we

know is that the stimulation of T-cells is very strong with so called adeno vaccines, and T cells are what provide this new ability of protection, but

we don't know. I mean, we need more data,

STEWART: You have made this vaccine at cost. You're now going to charge more for countries that can afford it. When's that going to happen? Because

clearly, the pandemic isn't over yet,

SORIOT: New orders will be taken at a modest profit, and actually, what that means is the price will range from no profit for some countries, all

the way to a profit for some other countries that may have, you know, the more wealthy and able to pay a higher price.

It will always be a price that allows access and generates a modest profit, but different countries will pay a different price based on their ability

to pay.

STEWART: Looking at this fourth wave of COVID-19 across Europe, is there any advice you would give to governments?

SORIOT: Vaccinate people and they are doing it and of course, when appropriate, continue to use masks. I think it is important people don't

give up the masks too quickly. So, of course, we can't spend our entire life with masks on, but we should get into the habit of wearing them where

necessary and not elsewhere, but vaccinations are really the first line of defense.


STEWART: Pascal Soriot says, the suggestion that adeno virus vaccines like the one that AstraZeneca makes has a strong T-cell response and he says

could give a more durable immunity is not something that data supports and Pascal Soriot himself said that as well. It's been covered heavily by news

outlets today.

Today for AstraZeneca, there was a real milestone. This is where future medicines for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, rare diseases will hopefully

be developed. So, it's a really important milestone for Life Sciences in the U.K. and beyond -- Alison.

KOSIK: Okay, CNN's Anna Stewart. Great interview. Thanks.

As Europe struggles with a surge in COVID cases and deaths, nations are taking new measures to slow the spread and the virus is hitting the top

levels of government.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has tested positive for COVID. He's already been vaccinated and says he is doing well. He is self-isolating,

and so is the Belgian Prime Minister and others after meeting with him on Monday.

In Germany, people going to work will now have to start showing proof of vaccination, a negative COVID test or a proof of recovery. If they don't,

they might not get paid.

And Austria's Public Broadcasting Service has started a vaccine lottery. People getting a shot are eligible to win hundreds of prizes including a

house or a car. Austria has one of Western Europe's lowest vaccination rates. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is in Vienna. That city has seen a surge in

vaccinations since Austria headed into lockdown -- Salma.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Alison, absolutely. The government here is trying a very bold experiment. They're rolling restrictions that

specifically target the unvaccinated. So before we were in a nationwide -- sorry rather -- before we were in a nationwide lockdown here, there was a

lockdown specifically for the unvaccinated.

And even when this nationwide lockdown lifts, the unvaccinated will still have to live under these rules. Essentially, it's becoming very difficult

if you are not immunized to access public life across Europe. You can't get into restaurants, you can't get into bars. As you mentioned there, in

Germany, you're not going to be able to go to work or get paid if you don't show that proof of vaccination or a negative test or proof of recovery.

And what European leaders are doing and facing now due to the surge in cases is a sort of carrot and stick approach.

I'm going to go back to the World Health Organization which says there are three reasons for the rise in cases. First, the highly transmissible delta

variant. Secondly, the unvaccinated; and finally, the ease of restrictions across the European region and that is where European leaders are stepping

in, putting tougher measures to try to control social life, to try to restrict those who are unvaccinated from accessing parts of social life.

But as you mentioned, there is also a sort of encouragement here, a softer side to this. Here in Austria, for example, the public broadcaster

announced that there's a lottery for those who are getting immunized. You could win a car, you could win a TV. You could even win a house.

This carrot and stick approach for now is encouraging more people to be vaccinated. We were at a vaccination center here in Vienna just a few hours

ago and the operating manager told us, they are seeing huge numbers of people coming forward for their boosters, but also for their very first

shots, finally coming forward realizing they're not going to be able to access public life.

But for the meanwhile here, and I think this is the difficult pill to swallow, restrictions will have to be in place here in Austria. The

healthcare system is on the brink. ICU wards are running out of beds. That means social restrictions will have to remain in place for now, at least,

it's about a 20-day period.

But the fear is that this really puts a question mark over Christmas -- Alison.

KOSIK: Okay, CNN's Salma Abdelaziz, thanks for breaking all of that down.

Austria's strict measures have set off alarm bells with economists. One said he is expecting a bumpy winter season in Europe. Another said

Austria's nationwide lockdown and its planned vaccine mandate are bad signs for the Eurozone.

Earlier this month, the European Commission marked down its forecasts for economic growth. Carsten Brzeski is the Chief Economist for ING Germany,

and he joins me now from Berlin.

Carsten, great to see you and thanks for being with us.

You know, Europe is already, you know, facing a fragile economic recovery. Now, with the virus cases rising in Europe, I'm curious what you're seeing,

what kind of impact will a full lockdown, let's say in Austria and tighter restrictions in Germany, and other countries have on global economic


CARSTEN BRZESKI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ING GERMANY: It will definitely have an impact on the European economy. I think the bad thing is that Austria has

been leading the way so many times during this pandemic, in terms of infections, but also in terms of government measure.

So given that this is a full lockdown, I think others will follow. And what this means is that we're going to see a very weak fourth quarter of

economic activity. Don't forget, we already have higher energy prices, denting private consumption. We still have these ongoing global supply

chain friction, which are weighing on industrial production in Europe.

And now on top of that, we will see that the retail sector will be hit, the culture sector will be hit. All of these Christmas markets around Europe

will be hit again. So I think, we are clearly looking into a soft patch at the end of this year starting off next year. We'll have to wait until

spring 2022 before the coronavirus will hopefully be solved. And at the same time, we will also see that the supply chain frictions will hopefully

bring some relief for the European economy.

KOSIK: And with that soft patch you're talking about that brings uncertainty, how does that impact the E.C.B. and the Bank of England's

tapering and tightening timetables that are currently in place?

BRZESKI: Yes, for the European Central Bank that is a very tricky one because they haven't talked about tapering so far. E.C.B. President

Christine Lagarde even said that the lady is not tapering.

But we are reaching a point now in which we have higher inflation. We have huge inflationary pressure, towards the end of the year, probably also in

the first month of 2022. We have the U.S. Fed already starting tapering and if the E.C.B. was now to extend this pandemic emergency program because we

still have the pandemic, we might end up in springtime when we have a strong rebound of the economy and the E.C.B. still being stuck to its

emergency measures.

So I think that the E.C.B. will have to look through this soft patch driven by maybe a fourth wave of lockdowns and we'll have to announce a gradual

exit from these emergency measures already at the meeting on 16th of December.


KOSIK: Now you talked about their supply chain disruptions, they've clearly helped to create inflation that has become much stickier than many

had initially predicted. Talk to me about how you see inflation, is it transitory? If yes, when do you see inflationary pressures easing? We say

transitory, but transitory can be, you know, it could last month.

BRZESKI: Transitory can be pretty long. And I think this is a situation we're currently in. So yes, inflation will be transitory because it is

driven by so many one off factors, be it higher energy prices, be it price markups after the lockdowns, be it also in Germany, the VAT, first cut, and

then re-hiking of the VAT rate.

So all these one-off factors, they should start to abate by the summer off next year. So I'm pretty positive that we will see also inflation in the

Eurozone to come back to two percent in the second half of next year.

But I think when you look further, beyond 2022, I think there are clear reasons to argue that medium-term inflation will be higher than over the

last decade because globalization will become more regionalization, reshoring of industrial production.

We also have this fight against climate change across the world, which one way or the other, will have a positive impact on inflation that will push

up inflation. So I think by the summer of next year, a Central Bank like the E.C.B. can celebrate, yes, we're back at two percent, but in the medium

run, we will see that there will be more inflationary pressure in the next 10 years than in over the last 10 years.

KOSIK: Okay, so meantime, the Turkish lira is absolutely plummeting. It's been down as much as 15 percent against the dollar, a huge move for any

currency. Turkish President Erdogan is insisting the country's Central Bank cut interest rates -- cut interest rates to fight inflation. That's, of

course, the opposite of what most economists would advise.

Mr. Erdogan says he is fighting what he calls an economic war of independence. Listen to this, and I'll come back and talk to you.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): We've seen the same game in many international incidents and many platforms. We have

risen over every struggle we were engaged in by standing firm, just as we took our country out of these many traps, misfortunes. With the help of

Allah and the support of our people, we will emerge victorious from this economic war of independence.


KOSIK: And Carsten is still with me. So Carsten, I'm curious to hear your opinion, how dangerous of a game is Erdogan playing here, even beyond the

possibility, you know, of a run on the banks, as people, you know, lose faith in the value of the currency?

BRZESKI: Well, this is definitely not a policy recipe you can find in any economics textbook, like you said at the beginning. We have the Turkish

economy that is suffering from extremely high inflation. This is not the moment in which you should really start cutting interest rates


So how do you get out of here? I think this is an enormous economic experiment and with high risks, I think the only way out, this is a way I

could think of, well, could the Turkish economy need help by someone like the International Monetary Fund? Well, I don't see this as an option for

Turkey. So I would rather expect that we see a reversal of monetary policy, namely a gradual hike of interest rates in the future, again, to stabilize

the currency, and also to stabilize the economy and also trying to bring inflation back down again.

KOSIK: All right, Carsten Brzeski, thanks so much for your perspective today.

And Zoom went from being a market underdog to a household name during the pandemic. Now that workers are going back to the office, investors are

seriously worried about the company's future.




KOSIK (voice-over): It's been one of the market success stories of the pandemic era but now Zoom shares are tanking after its latest earnings got

investors worried. It's been down as much as 18 percent on the Nasdaq.

Zoom saying revenues are slowing down as more workers return to the office. Its shares down more than 50 percent over the past year. Paul La Monica

joins me now.

I know you've had your eye on Zoom for a long time. It was one of the pandemic darlings.

What is next for Zoom's growth?

Have they thought about that yet?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they have. But the problem is, Zoom was hoping to make an acquisition to try to give it new

growth opportunities. It was looking to buy a company called Five Nine but the deal fell apart.

So shareholders now, I think, at Zoom are left wondering, where does the company go from here?

As you point out, revenue growth at the height of the pandemic was more than 300 percent, year over year. That sales growth they're expecting now

is down to about 19 percent, which isn't awful by any stretch of the imagination. But it's just a marked deterioration from the heavy growth

days just a few quarters ago.

KOSIK: Yes, those stock movements are just incredible.

And another headline I saw, as we emerge from the pandemic here in America, we're seeing kind of one of the last dollar stores here in the U.S., Dollar

Tree, now becoming $1.25 Tree?

LA MONICA: Yes, that doesn't really sing, does it?

But a 25 percent increase in prices, Dollar Tree is trying to stress that they are not reacting to inflation in doing this. They're hoping to give

consumers more options and at a $1.25 price point, they can have more merchandise.

But a lot of people recognize that, with all the consumer price pressure that is going on, this isn't going to be the last time that discount

retailers will probably have to hike prices; hopefully just not as aggressively as 25 percent.


LA MONICA: That is a huge increase.

KOSIK: Yes. You think they would have to actually change the sign outside the store to something else.

So you don't think consumers will be affected by this?

They're expecting these higher prices?

LA MONICA: Well, I think consumers are probably expecting higher prices if they're at all in tune with what is going on in the U.S. and global


I don't think they'll be happy about it. I think, because dollar stores, by their very nature do often cater to lower income consumers, any increase

will take a bite out of disposable income. And that is troublesome, clearly.

KOSIK: All right, thanks for your time today, Paul.

For some during the pandemic, working from home means always working. Now one country is trying to change that. Portugal is telling bosses, when your

workers are off the clock, keep them off the phone. CNN's Isa Soares explains.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Portuguese parliament here behind me has approved one of the most employee-friendly labor laws in an attempt

really to preserve the work-life balance as people continue to work from home.

Now under this new law, bosses are not allowed to contact employees outside of working hours. And that basically means no phone calls, no text messages

and no emails or else they will be fined.

SOARES (voice-over): The new law says employers must also pay working from home expenses, such as increased electricity, gas and internet bills.

On the streets of Lisbon, many told me this law was essential.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): With working from home, there was an extension of our working hours. And, unfortunately, some bosses

could have had a tendency to abuse that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I know what my colleagues and I went through and the lack of regard for working hours because they're not

respected. People nowadays have to be available 24 hours day because they have a company cellphone or a work computer. People have to have their own


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think there should be some sort of regulation in regards to questions of working from home. I'm not sure

that, just because it has been written in law, that it will be effective enough for it to be respected.

SOARES (voice-over): Portugal's ruling socialist party is hoping the new labor law will attract digital nomads to their shores.

ANA MENDES GODINHO, PORTUGUESE MINISTER OF LABOR AND SOCIAL SECURITY: This gives power to workers that can choose the best place to live and to work,

to any part of the world. Of course, it also gives a huge opportunity to companies that can have the best talent in the world, no matter where the

workers live.

SOARES: It is perhaps a bit too soon to tell how exactly this law will be implemented. But it was one of the last measures taken by parliament before

it was dissolved ahead of a snap election next year, where jobs and the economy are likely to be the main issues -- Isa Soares, CNN, Lisbon,



KOSIK: CNN's Julia Chatterley followed up with the Portuguese labor minister about the new law and asked her what prompted it.


GODINHO: We all know how teleworking or remote working in a massive way showed us all that we have to have some clarification of some rules to

guarantee that we have a better work-life balance.

And that also work takes part of our life in a balanced way. So this is the purpose of the amendment that was made by the parliament in Portugal,

trying exactly to clarify the law. Of course, it was just approved this recently.

So let's see how it will be then implemented. But the main focus is to have some clarification in some of the rules; namely, as you said, the right to


But also in terms, for example, for parents to guarantee that parents that have children up to 8 years old, they can choose to work in a remote work

or teleworking.

So guaranteeing that they have a better way of managing their lives with children, with family because, also, the pandemic showed how much we must

guarantee that the social dimension is part and it's the basis of our common life.


KOSIK: Work-life balance. Maybe it is a thing.

And we have more big news from Portugal, CNN has just launched CNN Portugal, a 24-hour, multiplatform news operation in Portuguese. We're

bringing together some of the best in the business to give our audience there even more news and analysis.

It's available to millions on TV as well as online and across social media.



KOSIK: I'm Alison Kosik. Be sure connect with me on Instagram and Twitter @AlisonKosik. I'll be back at the top of the hour, as we make a dash for

the closing bell. Up next, "LIVING GOLF."





KOSIK: Hello, I'm Alison Kosik. It's the dash to the closing bell. We're just two minutes away. The Dow finishing around its highs of the day, it's

currently up, looks like in the triple digits, on track for its best session in more than a week.

Tech stocks, though, are still suffering. The Nasdaq is off 0.5 percent and will close lower for the second day in a row.

Zoom shares fell sharply after its latest quarter showed revenues slowing down.

The U.S. Energy Secretary is blaming oil companies for taking advantage of high oil prices by not responding with more production. The United States

is looking to combat those rising prices by announcing it would tap its emergency reserves along with several other nations.

Prices are up by 2 percent or more today. President Biden admits it could take time to see real results.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today we're launching a major effort to moderate the price of oil, an effort that will span the

globe in its reach and ultimately reach your corner gas station, God willing.

I've worked hard these past few weeks on calls and meetings with foreign leaders, policymakers, to put together the building blocks for today's

global announcement. And while our combined actions will not solve the problem of high gas prices overnight, it will make a difference.


KOSIK: Before we go, let's take a quick look at the Dow 30. It looks like banks are leading the way, as investors get ready for an interest rate hike

from the Federal Reserve.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are just laying for the top spot in the Dow. They're each up by more than 2 percent. Chevron is also higher, as oil

prices continue to rise. Tech stocks look like they're the laggards with Salesforce and Intel near the bottom of the pile.

And that's your dash to the bell. The closing bell is about to ring on Wall Street. I'm Alison Kosik. And "THE LEAD" with Kaitlan Collins starts now.