Stock Futures Tumble as JNJ Vaccine Data Disappoints

Johnson & Johnson's late-stage trials showed less effectiveness in some regions

Assistant Editor
Jan 29, 2021 at 9:25 AM
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Stock futures are eyeing a steep move lower this morning, after Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced that its one-dose Covid-19 vaccine was 66% effective overall. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are down 165 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are noticeably lower as well.

The market continues to adjust to the speculative trading by retail investors. There's concern everywhere you look; the losses that could occur at commission-free brokers like Robinhood, as well as the financial fallout for hedge funds who bet against stocks like GameStop (GME). There's also fear of a larger bubble in the market that could unravel and hit retail investors hard. 

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

  • Signal says fresh highs ahead for this blockchain stock.
  • All bulls on deck for Southwest stock after earnings.
  • Plus, BIIB soars on FDA news; Caterpillar's blowout earnings; and AMC continues to make headlines. 

Futures Chart January 29

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.3 million call contracts traded on Thursday, and 927,581 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio stayed at 0.40 add the 21-day moving average fell to 0.41.
  2. Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) stock is up 10.3% ahead of the opening bell, following news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the review period for the drugmaker's Alzheimer's treatment. Even before today BIIB was up 9.4% in 2021.
  3. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) is up 0.2% in electronic trading after the machinery giant reported a fourth-quarter earnings beat. Revenue was in line with Wall Street's estimates, and Caterpillar said its well-positioned to come out of the pandemic stronger. Year-over-year, CAT is up 35.8%.
  4. The shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC) are up 40.9% ahead of the open, and the movie theater company is considering raising more capital, including the possibility of a stock sale. AMC, alongside stocks like GameStop (GME) and Nokia (NOK), is seeing a surge thanks to retail investors, and as a result has added 307.1% this year.
  5. Today will feature both the employment cost and final consumer sentiment indexes, as well as the Chicago PMI. Also on deck is personal income, consumer spending, and core inflation data.

Buzz Chart Jan 29

European Markets React to Speculative Trading Mania

Asian markets tumbled on Friday as investors eyed several Covid-19 vaccine updates, including news that the Novavax (NVAX) shot is more than 89% effective. The Kospi in South Korea led the losses with a 3% drop, while the Shanghai Composite in China fell 0.6%. Elsewhere in the region, the Hong Kong Hang Seng shed 0.9%, and the Nikkei in Japan dropped 1.9%.

The speculative trading frenzy has reached global proportions, too, keeping a tight lid on European markets today. The French CAC 40 is off 1.7% as traders pore over better-than-expected fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data. Meanwhile, the London FTSE 100 has taken a 1.8% haircut, and the German DAX has lost 1.5%. Investors are also eyeing a conflict between the European Union (EU) and drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN), with the EU threatening to bar exports unless AZN provides the promised number of Covid-19 vaccines.

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