Futures Rise on Hopes for Vaccine, Stimulus

The S&P futures pushed higher Tuesday morning as investors continue to speculate on the timing of a potential vaccine for Americans. This morning, the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Moderna told the Wall Street Journal that the company could have a working vaccine by December. Moderna could seek an emergency approval to begin distributing a vaccine. The news pushed cruise and airline stocks higher today due to the renewed optimism.

Let’s take a look at the numbers from Tuesday before we get into the headlines driving the futures market.

Here are the key headlines that are driving the Futures this morning. 

The Rundown: Today’s Top Market Stories 

  • This morning, optimism about a potential vaccine was muted by the ongoing clown show in Washington D.C… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Lego Batman Movie executive producer Steven Mnuchin remain miles apart on a potential stimulus deal. In fact, the market has largely given up on Republicans and Democrats finding common ground before the election. However, Pelosi and Mnuchin are expected to speak again Tuesday. On Sunday, Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline to reach an agreement despite the fact that both sides are still arguing over about $400 billion in additional spending.
  • Over the summer, the housing market was red-hot across the country. But now… we’re starting to see the first cracks in the industry. This morning, the U.S. housing starts report tallied 1.415 million for September. That figure was short of economists’ expectations. Building permits, however, did beat estimates. We also saw a downward revision in housing starts for August. Shares of DR Horton (DRI), KB Home (NYSE: KB), and Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) were all under pressure this morning.
  • And here comes the heavy hand of government. The Justice Department will formally announce antitrust violations against Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday. This will be the first major case against Big Tech to address the company’s increasing market power. The announcement will come at 9:45 am. Google has denied any wrongdoing. It could be the start of a difficult period for Big Tech firms like Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and Apple. Congress, the Trump Administration, and the Biden-Harris campaign have all expressed concerns about the growing influence of these companies over the American economy. 

COVID-19 Updates

This morning, the key COVID story driving the market is the rise in the seven-day average of new cases. Johns Hopkins University reported an 18% increase in news cases from the previous week. Cases have increased all throughout October, with the number of total cases since earlier this year topping 8.21 million in the United States. Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned that the United States is now a week away from a “rapid acceleration” in new COVID cases. Gottlieb warned that the fall and winter season is when the virus will want to spread.

Today’s Top Stocks to Watch: DKNG, LOGI, TRV, IBM

DKNG: Shares of DraftKings are off about 2.5% on Tuesday after a block of 1.7 million shares exchanged hands at $42.15, according to Bloomberg data. The sale coincides with the end of the lockup period for shares. The company also said that it will release its earnings report on November 13. This could be a difficult period for DraftKings with Major League Baseball’s season coming to a close in the next week. The company’s valuation has gone through the roof in 2020, with shares surging from as little as $9 up to a high of $63.78.

LOGI: Shares of Logitech surged more than 15% after the tech giant crushed earnings expectations. The company said that its fiscal second-quarter earnings surged from $72.9 million to $266.9 million. Sales increased by 75% to $1.26 billion. The $1.87 per share in earnings was a hefty beat from the $1.70 forecasted by analysts. The company also increased its annual guidance and projected that sales growth will surge between 35% and 40% in the year ahead.

TRV, IBM: In additional earnings news, Travelers Companies added 3% in premarket hours after the insurance giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations on Tuesday. The firm reported earnings per share of $3.12 on top of $7.77 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, shares of International Business Machines are off 3% after Big Blue fell short of earnings expectations on Monday. The company reported its third-consecutive quarter of falling revenue.