Stock Futures Set to Rise on Third Vaccine Update this Month

Airline and cruise stocks are leading the charge

Digital Content Manager
Nov 23, 2020 at 9:27 AM
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Stock futures are higher for a third consecutive Monday this month, thanks to another positive vaccine update. This time around, the AstraZeneca (AZN) and University of Oxford candidate is boosting investor sentiment, after an interim analysis proved this vaccine to be up to 90% effective. As a result, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are up 150 points. S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are slightly higher as well, with shares of cruise and airline stocks leading the charge. Wall Street is just coming off of a rocky week, with the U.S. reporting a record of more than 195,500 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

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

  • Unpacking Williams-Sonoma's blowout earnings report.
  • Luxury fashion stock rises on lofty upgrade from BTIG.
  • Plus, pharma stock pops on million-dollar acquisition; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals gets approval for COVID-19 antibody cocktail; and Roku sees a cord-cutting boost.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.2 million call contracts traded on Friday, and 892,171 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.40 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.49. 
  2.  Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is up 1.7% in pre-market trading, after the pharmaceutical giant announced it would purchase OncoImmune -- a company that is developing its own promising COVID-19 vaccine and treatments, as well as drugs to treat cancer and other diseases -- for $425 million in an all-cash transaction. Year-to-date, MRK remains down 11.5%.
  3. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) is up 4.1% before the bell, after the biotechnology concern's COVID-19 antibody cocktail received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug is meant to treat patients who are at risk of developing serious illness, but are currently not hospitalized. Year-over-year, REGN sports a 47.9% lead.
  4. The shares of Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) are up 2.4% in electronic trading, after the streaming device maker earned a price-target hike from Needham to a Street-high $315 from $255. The analyst in question said Roku is enjoying tailwinds from an acceleration of cord-cutting. In the last six months, ROKU has gained 142.5%.
  5.  The holiday week is kicking off strong, with the latest Chicago Fed national activity data due out. Additionally, Markit manufacturing and services PMI will be reported.

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European Markets Rise on Coronavirus Vaccine Hopes

Stocks in Asia rose to begin the week, as investors kept their eyes peeled for coronavirus updates. South Korea’s Kospi tacked on 1.9% to lead the region, thanks in no small part to a 4.3% jump from Samsung Electronics. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.1% and 0.1%, respectively, with the latter pulling back after an anticipated air travel bubble between the city and Singapore was delayed for two weeks amid surging COVID-19 cases. Japan’s markets were closed for a holiday.

European markets pivoted higher as well, as investors remained hopeful that effective coronavirus vaccines will be rolled out in the near future. However, London’s FTSE 100 has so far been flat, last seen off by 0.01%. Elsewhere, France’s CAC 40 has so far managed to rise 0.5%, as business activity fell in November after a second round of lockdowns. Rounding out the region, the German DAX was last seen up 0.6%.

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