Stock Futures Set to Resume Rally Amid Pfizer Update

Pfizer expects to apply for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine "within days"

Digital Content Manager
Nov 18, 2020 at 9:22 AM
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Stock futures are bouncing back this morning, after all three major indexes fell victim to yesterday's profit-taking. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are up roughly 100 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are eyeing marginal gains as well. Investors are optimistic about the release of Pfizer's (PFE) final vaccine data, which says its candidate is 95% effective, and its plan to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “within days." Also encouraging traders is U.S. housing starts data, which saw a better-than-expected increase in October. 

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

  • Pharma stock has room to run, if history is any indicator.
  • Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White says these 25 stocks are Thanksgiving favorites.
  • Plus, Apple to lower app store fees for smaller developers; Unilever bets on plant-based industry; and Target's earnings report exceeds analysts' estimates.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.6 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, and 807,519 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.49 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.50. 
  2.  Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is down 0.1% in pre-market trading, after the tech giant announced that on Jan. 1, it will cut app store fees for software developers that earn $1 million or less to 15%, as opposed to 30%. Year-over-year, AAPL is still up 78.8%.
  3. Unilever NV (NYSE:UN) is up 0.8% before the bell, after the consumer goods name said it anticipates sales of plant-based meat and dairy products to reach roughly $1.2 billion annually within five to seven years. If that goal is met, it means plant-based sales will have quintupled. In the last six months, UN has gained 24.8%.
  4. The shares of Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) are up 2.9% in electronic trading, after the retail concern reported better than expected third-quarter earnings as well as revenue. The company attributed the results to a 20.7% rise in comparable-store sales, which also beat estimates. Year-over-year, TGT is up 47.1%.
  5. Today marks another relatively slow day, when it comes to economic data.

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Asian Markets Higher as Vaccine Optimism Holds, Cases Rise

Asian markets finished the session mostly higher today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, South Korea’s Kospi, and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%, 0.3%, and 0.2%, respectively, as investors remained cautiously optimistic about vaccine hopes while coronavirus cases continue to rise. However, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.1% despite October exports falling by a slimmer-than-expected margin. The main culprit of today’s plunge is automobile makers, the country’s main export, which fell substantially across the board.

Meanwhile, European stocks are marginally higher so far, as investors weigh positive vaccine news against rising COVID-19 cases. At last check, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.6%, piggybacking off of gains from gaming giant Ubisoft. Rounding out the region, London’s FTSE 100 and the German DAX have so far tacked on 0.4% and 0.3%, with outsized gains from energy giant Technipfmc are propping up the former.

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