Dow Futures Gain As AstraZeneca Resumes COVID Vaccine Trials

Dow Futures Gain As AstraZeneca Resumes COVID Vaccine Trials

The Monday Market Minute

  • Global stocks gain as AstraZeneca resumes its late-stage coronavirus vaccine testing following the sudden illness of one of its trial participants.
  • Nvidia agrees to buy rival chipmaker Arm from SoftBank for around $40 billion, while Gilead Sciences swoops in to buy breast cancer treatment specialist Immunomedics for $21 billion.
  • Oracle emerges as the preferred buyer for TikTok, according to multiple media reports, but any deal still needs the approval of both the U.S. and Chinese governments.
  • Treasury yields hold steady ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, which kicks-off Tuesday, while the dollar continues to slip lower against its global currency peers.
  • U.S. equity futures suggest a firmer open on Wall Street heading into a light week for economic and corporate releases highlight by retail sales on Wednesday and weekly jobless claims Thursday.

U.S. equity futures jumped higher Monday as investors reacted to a series of multi-billion takeovers in the tech and pharmaceutical sectors and cheered the resumption of AstraZeneca’s  (AZN) – Get Report coronvavirus vaccine trial. 

AstraZeneca, which paused the late-stage trial it’s conducting with researchers at Oxford University last week following the unexplained illness of one of its participants, resumed testing over the weekend and said it will “continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume to provide the vaccine broadly, equitably and at no profit during this pandemic.”

That news was preceded by comments from Pfizer  (PFE) – Get Report CEO Albert Bourla, who suggested that Americans could be receiving doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which it hopes to have approved by regulators in October, before the end of the year.  

With solid advances in the vaccine chase, as well as a $40 billion tech sector deal which will see the biggest U.S. chipmaker, Nvidia  (NVDA) – Get Report purchase British rival Arm from Japan’s SoftBank Group, investors were than willing to extend risk into the start of the Monday session and ahead of a relatively light week week for economic and earnings releases highlighted by the Federal Reserve’s rate decision and press conference Wednesday. 

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