Stock futures rose Monday morning, setting stocks up to add to last week’s record levels as market participants reacted to positive developments over a coronavirus treatment, and signs that a vaccine might be authorized in the near-term.
Travel, airline and other “reopening” stocks rallied, with shares of American Airlines (AAL), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and their peers each jumping in pre-market trading.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday said it issued an emergency use authorization for investigational convalescent plasma to treat Covid-19 in hospitalized patients. While the treatment has not yet undergone full clinical trials, the FDA said that it deemed that the data so far suggest “product may be effective in treating Covid-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”
President Donald Trump, speaking in a press conference, called the approval a “very historic breakthrough,” and said the treatment reduced mortality by 35%, based on a study of patients by the Mayo Clinic.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is also reportedly considering fast-tracking a U.K. coronavirus vaccine candidate by bypassing typical U.S. regulatory standards, the Financial Times reported over the weekend. One of the options reportedly mulled would involve issuing the vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZenaca and Oxford University emergency use authorization. A spokesperson for the U.S. Health and Human Services department, however, also told the Financial Times that it was “absolutely false” that an emergency use authorization would be issued before the US presidential election.
This week, the Republican National Convention (RNC) kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina, days after former Vice President Joe Biden formally accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) last week. While mostly virtual, some Republican leaders and delegates will be present in-person for Monday’s events. Speakers for Monday are scheduled to include Former Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.), along with President Donald Trump, who will speak during each day of the four-day event.
On the earnings front, software company Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is set to report quarterly results after market close.
8:26 a.m. ET: Despite the new $300 federal unemployment benefit authorization came ‘too little too late for August spending’: Goldman Sachs
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump authorized a program to implement a $300 supplemental federal unemployment benefit, directing some $40 billion in disaster relief funds for states to distribute as payments to individuals for up to an estimated three to five weeks.
While states are able to make payments to individuals retroactive to Aug. 1, the new program is unlikely to help support consumer spending – the biggest component of US economic activity – this month, according to a new note from Goldman Sachs titled, “The New $300 Benefit: Too Little Too Late for August Spending.”
“The lapse in the $600 unemployment insurance payments will results in a roughly $70bn decline in monthly personal income in August – a sequential drag on consumer spending power of as much as 6.5% of PCE [personal consumption expenditures] in the month. At best, the new $300 payment would cover half of this decline if implemented in full this month,” Goldman Sachs economist Blake Taylor said. “But given delays in implementing the program and disbursing funds, the new program is unlikely to meaningfully support incomes until September.”
“Despite a high saving rate, this hit to income is likely to weigh on consumer spending and retail sales in August,” Blake added.
7:11 a.m. ET: Stocks rally as Covid-19 vaccine, treatment hopes rise
Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 7:15 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,420.00, up 27.5 points or 0.81%
Dow futures (YM=F): 28,130.00, up 271.00 points, or 0.97%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,661.5, up 99.5 points, or 0.86%
Crude (CL=F): +$0.29 (+0.68%) to $42.63 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$11.70 (+0.60%) to $1,958.70 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.1 bps to yield 0.641%