Stock Futures Soar on COVID-19 Vaccine News

Wall Street is also unpacking upbeat rhetoric from Fed Chair Jerome Powell

Deputy Editor
May 18, 2020 at 9:24 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are up over 650 points at last check, surging after news that Moderna Inc (MRNA) reported positive phase one trial results for its potential COVID-19 vaccine. Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also set to open confidently above fair value, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell pumped up bullish sentiment by telling CBS' "60 Minutes: "there's a lot that can be done to help the economy. "We’ve done what we can as we go, but I will say that we’re not out of ammunition by a long shot."

Continue reading for more on today's market, including: 

  • Twitter stock is attracting bulls in droves.
  • Wheaton Previous Metals stock is a diamond in the rough.
  • Plus, Google faces lawsuit; Moderna eyeing a big day; and Tesla eyes new factory locations. 

Stock Futures Chart May 18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.6 million call contracts traded on Friday, and 881,781 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.57, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.62.
  2. An antitrust lawsuit targeted at Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has the company down 0.2% before the open. The suits will focus on Google's dominance in advertising and online search and could put a damper on GOOGL's 18.2% quarterly gains.
  3. Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) is up 27% ahead of the open, after announcing positive interim data from a phase 1 study of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The biotech company is now up 241% year-to-date.
  4. Up 3.7% in electronic trading, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has zeroed in on two locations in Texas and Oklahoma as possible sites for a new factory. Tesla stock is up over 90% in 2020, finding support at its 30-day moving average.
  5. This week begins with only the NAHB home builders index coming in as far as economic data is concerned. Additionally, Baidu (BIDU), International Game Technology (IGT), iQIYI (IQ), and Sea (SE) will report earnings. 

Buzz Chart May 18

European Stocks Soaring as Lockdowns Ease

Stocks in Asia saw modest gains today as oil prices rose and investors eyed comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the economy’s coronavirus outlook. The Nikkei in Japan finished up 0.5%, alongside data that the Japanese economy was reduced at an annualized rate of 3.4% between January and March – less than the 4.6% decline anticipated by economists. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 0.6%, China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.2%, and the Kospi in South Korea landed a 0.5% win. 

In Europe, markets are trending up as countries continue to ease lockdowns. The French CAC 40 is up 2.9%, London’s FTSE 100 is rising 2.6%, and doing the best so far is the German DAX, up 3.4% amid a report by the European Union that Germany accounts for more than half of the COVID-19 state aid approved by EU regulators -- spending far more than other countries to help its nation with the impact of the pandemic. 


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