Nasdaq Futures Rise 173 Pts; Nvidia Deal Helps – U.S. stocks are set to open higher Monday, seeking a fresh start after last week’s tech-inspired selloff. Positive Covid vaccine news and M&A deals are driving the positive sentiment, although this week’s Federal Reserve meeting could limit gains.

At 7 AM ET (1100 GMT), S&P 500 Futures traded 38 points, or 1.2%, higher, the Dow Futures contract rose 234 points, or 0.9%, while Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 173 points, or 1.6%. 

Over the weekend, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) announced it had resumed late-stage trials of its leading Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which it is developing with the University of Oxford, after the relevant U.K. authorities gave their approval.

Additionally, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) CEO Albert Bourla said the company’s own candidate, co-developed with German drug maker BioNTech, has a “good chance” of being rolled out to Americans by the end of the year. 

This positive news has been widely welcomed given on Friday the White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci described the current data on the U.S. Covid-19 outbreak as “disturbing.”  He added, “we’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around 1,000.” 

Sentiment was also helped by the news of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) buying chipmaker Arm Holdings from SoftBank for $40 billion, while Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) now looks in pole position to be TikTok’s U.S. technology partner. Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) will also acquire biopharmaceutical company Immunomedics (NASDAQ:IMMU) for $21 billion.

Last week, the S&P 500 posted its worst week since late June and the Nasdaq Composite since March as the tech sector, the best-performing market sector year to date, was hit by sustained selling.

“Despite the sharp sell-off in the past week, we remain optimistic about the path of the U.S. equity market in coming months,” said strategists at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), in a note. “Since the financial crisis, the typical S&P 500 pullback of 5% or

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