Dow Futures Rise 208 Pts; More Positive Vaccine News Noted

This post was originally published on this site – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Monday, as investors digest more positive news surrounding potential coronavirus vaccines even as Covid-19 cases rise and states mandate new social restrictions.

At 07:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow futures contract rose 208 points, or 0.7%, S&P 500 futures traded 22 points, or 0.6%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 48 points, or 0.4%. 

Over the weekend, Moncef Slaoui, head of the U.S. government’s vaccine development effort, named Operation Warp Speed, announced that the first Covid-19 vaccine doses, produced by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and German partner BioNTech (F:22UAy), could be handed out to key individuals as early as Dec. 11.

Additionally, trial results announced earlier Monday by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) showed their coronavirus vaccine has up to 90% efficacy in one type of dosage, and could be easily transported at normal refrigerator temperatures.

This news comes after the United States recorded its 12th million Covid-19 case over the weekend and as millions of Americans travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, likely furthering the spread of the infectious disease.

Several states have responded to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases by adopting more restrictions on social gatherings. LA County in California, the most populous county in the U.S., has suspended outdoor dining, while Nevada’s Las Vegas has cut occupancy limits in casinos, restaurants and bars to 25% from 50%.

Stocks likely to be in focus Monday include Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN), after its experimental  drug to treat Covid-19 patients, which was used by President Donald Trump, was granted emergency authorisation, as well as casino stocks on the Las Vegas news.  

The debate over more fiscal help for Americans also continues with more than 100 economists signing a letter calling for a new round of stimulus, trying to raise the pressure on the political elite in Washington.

Economic data centers around flash U.S. PMI numbers Monday, and if Europe is any sort of gauge they could disappoint. Euro-zone business activity contracted sharply in November as renewed lockdowns forced many firms in the bloc’s dominant service industry to close temporarily. 

Oil prices pushed higher Monday on the news that the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine before Christmas now looks likely. Adding to the positive tone were hopes that a meeting of the top producers next week would see curbs on output extended. 

U.S. crude futures traded 1% higher at $42.86 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 1.1% to $45.57, climbing to their highest levels since August, having gained over 5% last week.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,865.75/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.4% higher at 1.1902.