Opening Bell: Wednesday Morning's Top News and Stocks to Watch

Opening Bell: Wednesday Morning's Top News and Stocks to Watch

Stock market index futures moved higher Wednesday morning as investors received good news on the progress of a developing COVID-19 vaccine, offsetting a rise virus cases and increased tensions between the U.S. and China, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.

The Top Story

Drugmaker Moderna Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA) reported its experimental coronavirus vaccine was safe and provided immune responses in all 45 healthy volunteers in an early study.

That pushed stock market index futures higher despite news that President Donald Trump ordered an end to Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law. Beijing warned of retaliatory sanctions soon after.

The three many stock market indexes have recovered most of their losses from the coronavirus-led slump, led by stimulus measures and positive economic data. The benchmark S&P 500 has moved within 6% of its record high set in February.

Now that the second-quarter earnings season is underway, investors are looking for annual forecasts from larger companies to gauge the pace of economic recovery in the U.S.

As of 9:15 a.m. EDT, Dow Jones futures were 1.93% higher. S&P 500 futures were up 1.44%, and Nasdaq futures jumped 0.73%.

Stocks to Watch Today

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) — The multinational investment bank reported earnings of $6.26 per share on $13.3 billion in the second quarter. That was well above Wall Street estimates. Stronger equities trading revenue drove revenue higher. Shares of Goldman Sachs were up 4%.

Moderna Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA) — The American biotech company stock rose 18.4% in premarket trading after early clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine showed immune responses in all 45 healthy volunteers. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) — The hospitality and entertainment company is expecting to reopen its Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa — its flagship property in Atlantic City — on July 26. Shares of MGM Resorts rose 7.1% in premarket trading.

Auto Makers Dealing With Worker No-Shows as Virus Cases Surge

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) continue to struggle with workers not showing up for work as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.

According to The Wall Street Journal, both companies have either had to cut shifts, hire new workers or transfer others to fill vacant roles.

GM’s plant in Wentzville, Missouri has cut a shift temporarily. Ford has had to spread employees across both of its plants in Louisville, Kentucky.

Treasury Yields Inch Higher Ahead of Beige Book Report

U.S. government debt prices were lower early Wednesday morning as futures sentiment rose on vaccine hopes.

Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasurys rose 0.03 to 0.64%. The 30-year Treasury yield also moved up 0.03 to 1.33%.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book report Wednesday afternoon. The report gives commentary on current economic conditions by each Federal Reserve district. It is usually published eight times a year.

In May, the report found each district suffered a sharp decline in economic activity associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Apple Inc. Wins Fight Over EU Tax Bill

The European Union General Court overturned a $14 billion Irish tax bill for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in a blow to the EU’s crackdown on preferential fiscal deals for companies.

In its ruling, the court said the European Commission failed to show Ireland’s tax arrangements with Apple were illegal state aid, according to Bloomberg.

The bill was part of a campaign to remove unfair tax deals that some EU governments gave to multinational companies.

What We’re Reading

Stock Valuations Are Through the Roof, but Would Inflation Ruin the Party? (Money & Markets)

Boeing Got Hit With a Wave of Canceled Plane Orders (CNN Business)

Our Work-From-Home Picks Have Soared — and It’s Not Too Late to Buy (Money & Markets)

Earnings Report

Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS)

Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY)

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC)

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB)


Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.

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