Stock Futures Surge as Coronavirus Cases Drop

The White House could fast-track a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, according to reports

Deputy Editor
Aug 24, 2020 at 9:19 AM
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Stock futures are rallying to begin the last week of August. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures were last seen up nearly 250 points, as the reported number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to drop. A report that the White House is considering fast-tracking an experimental vaccine candidate is also injecting some optimism into Wall Street. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are both higher as well. Both major indexes are coming off record-setting weeks, while the former eyes even more highs. 

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

  • Upgrades could be in store for Dick's Sporting Goods stock.
  • General Electric stock pivoted higher after extending its CEO's contract.
  • Plus, Apple's stock split starts today; Moderna's vaccine study passed a major milestone; and more on Blackstone's latest acquisition.

Futures Chart August 24

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw over 1.9 million call contracts traded on Friday, and 856,552 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.45, and the 21-day moving average fell to 0.45.
  2. Today marks the date for the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently announced four-for-one stock split. Shareholders will receive their additional shares at the close of business today, with the shares set to begin split-adjusted trading on August 31. AAPL is up 3.2% ahead of the bell.
  3. Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) is down 2% in pre-market trading, after the pharmaceutical company said enrollment levels for its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial passed the 40% mark. Moderna began the 30,000 patient study last month, and expects enrollment to be completed by September.
  4. Private-equity firm Blackstone Group Inc (NYSE:BX) will acquire Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical for roughly $2.3 billion. The two companies were nearing a deal last week, according to reports. In response, BX was last seen 1% higher before the open. 
  5. The week begins with the Chicago Fed national activity index in terms of economic data. Meanwhile, Palo Alto Networks (PANW) will step into the earnings confessional. 

Buzz Chart Aug 24

Asian and European Stocks Surge Following COVID-19 Treatment News

Stocks in Asia rose today, as a number of firms on China’s revised listing system, ChiNext soared, with Contec Medical Systems rising over 1,000%. To start the week, Japan’s Nikkei added 0.3%, China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.2%, and the Kospi in South Korea tacked on 1.1%. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, jumped 1.7%.

In Europe, markets are making strong gains midday, while investors eye coronavirus-related and global news. London’s FTSE 100 is up 1.9%, amid news that the U.S. government is considering fast tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.K., for use before the upcoming presidential election. Meanwhile, the German DAX is outperforming with a 2.6% gain, and the French CAC 40 follows closely behind with a 2.4% jump.



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