Biden picks Kamala Harris, Russian vaccine skepticism, and the 2020 gold rush: CNBC After Hours

CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines, and what to watch as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep most of America on lockdown. On today's show, CNBC's Meg Tirrell breaks down the skepticism around Russia's claims to have won the global vaccine race. Plus, CNBC's Bob Pisani explains why gold prices have been rallying alongside the U.S. stock market.

Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate, making her the first Black woman on a major ticket

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris of California to join him on the Democratic ticket, fulfilling his pledge to select a female running mate and making Harris the first Black person ever tapped as the vice presidential nominee of a major party.

His campaign announced the pick Tuesday afternoon through his webpage.

Biden's selection of Harris, 55, lends racial diversity, gender parity and generational breadth to his campaign. It also represents a strategic decision by the 77-year-old former vice president to keep his ticket firmly within the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party.

Scientists worry whether Russia's 'Sputnik V' coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective

Scientists and public health officials are skeptical about Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim that the country's potential vaccine for the coronavirus "works quite effectively," saying Tuesday that the vaccine still needs critical testing to determine whether it's safe and effective.

Hours earlier, Putin said Russian health officials approved what he said is the first coronavirus vaccine in the world, adding that one of his daughters has already taken it. Clinical trials of the vaccine have been completed in less than two months and phase three trials are set to begin on Wednesday, even as Russia lays out plans for a "massive release" to the public. Russian officials say they hope to soon start immunizing people with the vaccine, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, they've dubbed Sputnik V, named for the world's first satellite, launched in 1957.

The gold rally could forge ahead to $4,000, but analyst says two events could turn its fortunes

Gold prices could forge ahead to $4,000 per ounce in the next three years, but factors such as the development of a coronavirus vaccine and the November U.S. elections could change the fortunes of the precious metal, analysts say.

This year, gold prices have shot to record highs not seen since September 2011. Investors have been fleeing to "safe haven" assets as the pandemic shows no signs of abating. Last week, gold prices surged above $2,000 per ounce for the first time.

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