Monday August 24th


Dow futures jump 250 points as market looks to extend record-setting rally, Apple shares gain

U.S. stock index futures rallied in early trading on Monday as Wall Street tries to build on a record-setting week. Gains in tech shares and some developments on coronavirus treatments were behind the bullish sentiment. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 270 points, or about 1%. The move indicated an opening gain of more about 260 points. S&P 500 futures added 0.8%. Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.9%. Apple shares rose 2% in premarket trading. Amazon and Microsoft shares were also higher. Monday’s early gains come as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to decline in the U.S. Since spiking by more than 64,000 cases, the number of new daily infections in the U.S. has not topped 49,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Sunday, there were less than 37,000 new confirmed cases, the data showed. “I think something interesting may evolve in the weeks and months ahead,” said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, in a note. “I think it is entirely possible that USA COVID-19 cases crash to sub-10,000 in September.” “The US is soon becoming one of the safest places in the World.  And if this is true, capital will also want to seek the US” which means “stocks rise further,” Lee said. On Sunday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization of convalescent plasma for hospitalized Covid-19 patients, a treatment that uses blood plasma donated by people who’ve recovered from the virus. President Donald Trump said at a news conference Sunday that the plasma treatment cuts the mortality rate by 35%. The Trump administration is also considering fast-tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.K. for use in the United States ahead of the nation’s upcoming presidential election, according to a Financial Times report. Shares of casinos and airlines gained in premarket trading amid the coronavirus treatment developments. A seemingly unstoppable rally in major technology shares last week pushed the S&P 500 to levels above its previous record set before the pandemic. The broad equity benchmark posted its fourth straight positive week and closed at a fresh record on Friday. Apple jumped more than 8% last week ahead of its 4-for-1 stock split, bringing its 2020 gains to nearly 70%. Those gains were continuing in premarket trading. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 2.6% last week, posting a six-week winning streak and notching its 36th intraday high. The Nasdaq has gained 26% this year. The 30-stock Dow, however, is still about 5% below its record high from February as many of its consumer discretionary and industrial constituents have yet to fully recover from the unprecedented sell-off earlier this year. Investors remained on high alert for updates on the coronavirus pandemic as the world attempts to ease restrictions and revive economic growth. Asia Pacific stocks were higher in Monday as developments on the coronavirus pandemic continue to be watched by investors. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite gained 0.15% to close at about 3,385.64 while the Shenzhen component advanced 1.4% to around 13,666.69. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1.53% higher, as of its final hour of trading. In Japan, both the Nikkei 225 closed 0.28% higher at 22,985.51 while the Topix index added 0.19% to end its trading day at 1,607.13. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.1% to close at 2,329.83. Crude oil prices nudged higher on Monday as storms bore down on the Gulf of Mexico, shutting more than half the region’s oil production, although gains were capped by ongoing concerns about demand from coronavirus lockdowns. Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura tore through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, forcing energy companies to pull workers from offshore platforms and shut down oil production. Oil producers had shut 58% of the Gulf’s offshore oil production and 45% of natural gas production on Sunday. The region accounts for 17% of total U.S. oil production and 5% of U.S. natural gas output. Brent crude oil futures added 33 cents, or 0.7%, to $44.68 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 29 cents, or 0.68%, to $42.63 a barrel. Gold prices edged up on Monday as the dollar dipped, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies, but hopes for progress in the treatment of COVID-19 limited further gains in the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,949.64 an ounce, off an earlier low of $1,929.69, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.6% to $1,958.10.