Tuesday August 24th


Stock futures inch higher after a broad rally on Wall Street following vaccine approval

U.S. stock index futures edged higher in morning trading Tuesday following a broad-based rally on news that U.S. regulators granted full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid vaccine. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures traded in positive territory. The market started the week on a high note as shares sensitive to an economic recovery jumped on optimism that the vaccine approval would clear path for more mandates in the face of the spread of the delta variant. “Considering the recent spike in cases and some of the disappointing economic data, this is another step in the right direction, and it helps give confidence to those who might still be holding out on getting the vaccine,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial. The S&P 500 closed Monday’s session 0.8% higher after touching an intraday record high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose about 1.5% to hit a record closing high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 200 points on Monday. Investor are eyeing the Jackson Hole symposium later this week, which is expected to be a market-moving event where central bankers could detail their plans for tapering monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve has started discussions to pull back its $120 billion a month bond-buying program by the end of this year. The summit takes place virtually on Thursday and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will give a speech on Friday. “The Fed may make a taper announcement in September or November, but it will probably be a slow taper with no commitment over interest rate hikes.” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. The second-quarter earnings season is winding down with more than 90% S&P 500 companies having reported results. S&P 500 is poised to grow its earnings by 94.7% year over year, according to Refinitiv. Best Buy reported strong quarterly earnings before the bell Tuesday. Nordstrom is set to report after the close. There is little in the way of economic data before the bell, but investors will get a look at residential home sales at 10 am ET as well as the Richmond Fed’s business activity survey. Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Tuesday trade, with Hong Kong stocks leading gains among the region’s major markets. That came after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped to a record closing high overnight following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 2.46% higher at 25,727.92, with shares of Chinese tech firms listed in the city jumping: internet titan Tencent rose 8.81% while Meituan soared 13.51% and Alibaba advanced 9.47%. The Hang Seng Tech index gained 7.06%. Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher as the Shanghai composite rose 1.07% to 3,514.47 while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.878% to 14,663.55. The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.87% to close at 27,732.10. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.56% to close at 3,138.30. Oil prices rose on Tuesday, extending sharp gains on a bullish demand outlook as Mexico suffered a big production outage and U.S. regulators issued their first full approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. Brent crude oil futures were up $1.33, or 1.9%, at $70.08 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained $1.21, or 1.8%, to trade at $66.85 per barrel. Both benchmarks jumped more than 5% on Monday, helped by a weaker dollar, after marking their biggest week of losses in more than nine months last week.