Stock Futures Rise as Vaccine Rollout Begins

Stimulus negotiations appear to be progressing as well

Assistant Editor
Dec 14, 2020 at 9:26 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are eyeing a triple-digit move higher this morning, up over 200 points ahead of the bell. S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) futures are also firmly in the black, with market sentiment boosted by the start of Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech's (BNTX) emergency-use coronavirus vaccine rollout in the U.S.

Traders are also eyeing a bipartisan stimulus plan, which could be introduced to Congress as soon as today. According to a report from Reuters, the plan will be split into two sections -- a $748 billion unemployment and small business measure, and a liability and state aid measure -- in an effort to improve chances of approval. Meanwhile, the White House disclosed a security breach on the U.S. Treasury and U.S. Department of Commerce by a group backed by a foreign government.  

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

  • A major pot stock round-up with CGC in the spotlight. 
  • Breaking down a popular options strategy: married puts.  
  • Plus, biotech stock rises on COVID-19 clinical trial, TCF surges after merger, and SPCE drops back to earth after recent test flight.

Futures Dec 14

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.7 million call contracts traded on Friday, and 865,345 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.50 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.42. 
  2. CureVac BV (NASDAQ:CVAC) stock is up 8.4% in electronic trading, after enrolling the first participant in a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The study will include 35,000 people throughout Europe and Latin America. In the past month, CVAC is up 90.6%. 
  3. TCF Financial Corp (NASDAQ:TCF) stock is up 12.8% ahead of the bell today, after news that the company will merge with Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) in a $6 billion all-stock deal to create a company worth around $22 billion. Heading into today, the equity is down 25.7% year-to-date. 
  4. The shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE:SPCE) are plummeting, down 17.3% ahead of the open, amid news that its latest test flight did not reach space, as it was meant to, citing the failure of an ignition sequence. The pilots and ship returned to earth safely. Heading into today, SPCE is up 177.4% year-to-date. 
  5. Today will bring the monthly oil market report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Buzz Dec 14

European Stocks Rise on Brexit Trade Deal Update

Asian markets were mixed today, as investors responded to the approval of Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech’s (BNTX) coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in the U.S., a resurgence of the virus in South Korea, and the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) quarterly tankan survey, which showed business sentiment is improving. As a result, China’s Shanghai Composite and Japan’s Nikkei advanced 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4%, and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.3%.

European stocks are higher, on the other hand, after the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) agreed to continue negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal. Elsewhere, Germany announced it will go into lockdown over Christmas due to a rise in COVID-19 deaths and cases, with nonessential businesses and schools closing as soon as Wednesday. Nonetheless, the German DAX was last seen up 1.3%, while France’s CAC 40 is up 1.1%, and London’s FTSE 100 is up 0.3%.

 

 

 

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