Stocks rose Wednesday as investors considered a spate of updates around companies’ coronavirus vaccine development and distribution plans, alongside a batch of stronger than expected corporate earnings results.
[Click here to read what’s moving markets heading into Thursday, August 6]
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced it had entered an agreement with the US government to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of its Janssen unit’s investigational coronavirus vaccine candidate. Meanwhile, Moderna (MRNA) CEO Stéphane Bancel offered more details on pricing plans for the company’s own vaccine candidate, saying some customers would be charged between $32 and $37 per dose.
Shares of CVS (CVS) advanced after topping expectations in second-quarter results. Health-care company CVS grew profit more than 50% over last year as costs in its health-care benefits unit fell. The company also raised its full-year profit guidance. Moderna’s revenue of $66 million was more than double consensus estimates, and the company said it remained on track to finish enrollment for its Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial in September.
Disney’s (DIS) stock rose more than 8% to lead the Dow higher, after the company reported mixed third-quarter results Tuesday evening but unexpectedly eked out an adjusted profit per share despite broad-based business disruptions due to the pandemic. In a move to begin rolling out its backlog of films not yet released in theaters, Disney said it would release its live-action “Mulan” starting Sept. 4 on Disney+, with the streaming platform now boasting 60.5 million global subscribers. Disney also plans to launch a new streaming service under its “Star” brand.
Wednesday also brought the first of several major economic data reports this week on the state of the labor market – and the print drastically missed expectations. The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added back a net 167,000 payrolls in July, whereas consensus economists expected additions of 1.2 million. Private payrolls had increased by an upwardly revised 4.314 million in June.
However, the July report will also give a somewhat dated look at the job market in America, with the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it still under way. Improvements in the labor market and in consumer health are expected to backslide in the absence of further stimulus measures from Congress.
To that end, discussions in Washington, D.C. remain a focal point, with talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and administration officials having taken place Tuesday afternoon. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Tuesday that the sides were “a long ways away from striking any kind of deal,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Other lawmakers have expressed skepticism that the sides would be able to quickly convene on major sticking points. Last week, the $600 per week in enhanced federal unemployment benefits expired, leaving tens of millions of Americans stuck in the lapse as negotiators try and convene on the level and duration at which to extend this support. Disagreements as to the size of the overall package – with the Democratic plan topping $3 trillion in support and the Republican plan at $1 trillion – also lingered.
4:02 p.m. ET: Dow advances 373 points for a fourth straight session of gains, as Disney shares jump 8.8%
Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:02 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +21.24 (+0.64%) to 3,327.75
Dow (^DJI): +372.84 (+1.39%) to 27,201.31
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +57.23 (+0.52%) to 10,998.40
Crude (CL=F): +$0.42 (+1.01%) to $42.12 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$32.20 (+1.59%) to $2,053.20 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +2.8 bps to yield 0.5430%
11:56 a.m. ET: Stocks extend gains, Dow adds 300+ points
The three major indices extended gains intraday Wednesday, with the Dow’s gain increasing to more than 300 points, or 1.2%. Shares of Disney led advances, with the company posting a more than 10% advance around noon on Wednesday. Components Boeing and Nike each rose more than 3.5%.
The materials and energy sectors led advances in the S&P 500, while utilities and real state stocks lagged.
10:01 a.m. ET: Index tracking US services sector activity unexpectedly rises to a 16-month high: Institute for Supply Management
The US services sector rebounded at a faster than anticipated pace in July, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) monthly services purchasing managers’ index (PMI).
The services PMI – previously known as the “non-manufacturing index” – rose to 58.1 in July, from 57.1 in June. Consensus economists had expected the index to fall to 55.0.
Readings above the neutral level of 50.0 indicate expansion. July’s print marked a second straight month of expansion after contractions in April and May.
Extended gains in the business activity and new orders indexes led the advance in the headline index. These were enough to offset a decline in the supplier deliveries index, and a small drop in the the employment index.
9:44 a.m. ET: Moderna CEO says company is offering Covid-19 vaccine at $32 to $37 for some customers
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said during the company’s earnings call Wednesday that smaller volume agreements for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate have been executed at between $32 and $37 per dose, adding that, “Larger volume agreements under discussion will be at a lower price for higher volumes.”
Small orders of its vaccine are considered those “in the millions,” Bancel said.
Moderna’s pricing represents a premium over the price-per-dose offered by Pfizer and BioNTech for its own experimental Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s previously announced deal with the US Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense priced each dose of the vaccine at $19.50
9:35 a.m. ET: Johnson & Johnson enters agreement with US to supply 100 million doses of Janssen Covid-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced Wednesday morning that it landed a deal with the US government for the manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of the company’s Janssen unit Covid-19 investigational vaccine. The government may also purchase another 200 million doses of the inoculation under a later agreement, Johnson & Johnson added.
The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is committing more than $1 billion for this agreement, the company said.
9:33 a.m. ET: Stocks open higher, Dow paces toward fourth straight session of gains
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:33 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +13.31 points (+0.4%) to 3,319.82
Dow (^DJI): +197.44 points (+0.74%) to 27,025.91
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +12.82 points (+0.12%) to 10,953.38
Crude (CL=F): +$1.62 (+3.88%) to $43.32 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$33.30 (+1.65%) to $2,054.30 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +2.3 bps to yield 0.536%
8:15 a.m. ET: Private payrolls rise by 167,000 in July, sharply missing estimates: ADP
US private employers added back a net 167,000 jobs in July, according to ADP’s monthly report Wednesday. This was sharply below expectations for a rise of 1.2 million.
June’s private payrolls were upwardly revised to see a net 4.314 million additions, from the 2.369 million previously reported.
ADP’s report comes two days before the Department of Labor’s “official” monthly jobs report, set for release Friday. The ADP report is typically an imperfect indicator of the Labor Department’s report. As of Wednesday’s estimates, consensus economists expected that the government report will show private payrolls rose by 1.5 million in July.
7:20 a.m. ET Wednesday: Stock futures point to a higher open
Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 7:20 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,318.00, up 18 points, or 0.55%
Dow futures (YM=F): 26,907.00, up 190 points, or 0.71%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,122.5, up 36.5 points, or 0.33%
Crude (CL=F): +$1.14 (+2.73%) to $42.84 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$34.40 (+1.70%) to $2,055.40 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +2 bps to yield 0.533%
6:02 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures open little changed
Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:02 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,299.75, down 0.25 points, or 0.01%
Dow futures (YM=F): 26,744.00, up 27 points, or 0.1%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,075.5, down 10.5 points, or 0.09%