Dow Futures Down 176 Pts; Moderna Files for Drug Approval

Dow Futures Down 176 Pts; Moderna Files for Drug Approval

©  Reuters © Reuters

By Peter Nurse – U.S. stocks are seen opening largely lower Monday, with investors cashing in at the end of a record-breaking month. Deteriorating relations with China and worries over the Covid-19 pandemic are also weighing.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract fell 176 points, or 0.6%, S&P 500 Futures traded 13 points, or 0.4%, lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 4 points, or 0.1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen almost 13% so far this month, on course for its best individual month since January 1987. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have both gained over 11% month-to-date, their best months since April.

Positive coronavirus vaccine news, added to earlier Monday by the news Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has filed for emergency approval for its vaccine in the U.S. and Europe, and emerging political certainty in the U.S. have prompted strong gains on Wall Street in the last month as investors look ahead for a return to something approaching normalcy.

That said, there are plenty of factors to keep investors wary ahead of the end of year, including the relationship between the globe’s two largest economies and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Trump administration is poised to add chipmaker SMIC and offshore oil-and-gas explorer CNOOC (NYSE:CEO) to a list of firms blocked from American investment due to military ties, Reuters reported, potentially making it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to de-escalate tensions with China.

At the same time, while New York is set to start opening its public schools for for in-person learning in a week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the U.S. is heading into a tough period of the pandemic.

In corporate news, S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) has agreed to buy IHS Markit (NYSE:INFO) for around $39 billion, creating a heavyweight in the increasingly competitive market for financial information.

Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM), one of the main beneficiaries of people working from home during the pandemic, is poised to report third-quarter results Monday after the closing bell.

Oil prices slipped lower Monday, with traders cautious ahead of a meeting of the top crude producers to decide the group’s output levels.

OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are expected to maintain the current cap on supply at the formal two-day meeting that starts later Monday, rather than raising it in January by 2 million barrels a day as previously agreed. However, a panel of OPEC+ ministers couldn’t reach agreement in an informal online discussion on Sunday.

U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% lower at $44.98 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 1.4% to $47.59. Both benchmarks are still set for a rise of more than 25% in November, boosted by hopes for three promising coronavirus vaccines.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,775/oz, dropping over 5% this month, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.1988.

Original Article

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