Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Wall Street Opens Higher as Merck News Hints at Covid Game-Changer; Dow up 150 Pts

Stock MarketsOct 01, 2021 15:32
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- U.S. stock markets opened higher on Friday, reversing overnight losses in futures after potentially game-changing news on the pandemic front from U.S. pharma giant Merck. 

Merck announced encouraging early results from a small-scale trial of a antiviral pill to treat Covid-19, which showed a clear drop in the rate of severe illness among those taking it. If the drug is found to be both safe and effective, it could radically change the outlook for building humanity's defenses against the disease. 

Such considerations ensured that the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 149 points, or 0.4%, higher in the first few minutes of trading, while the S&P 500 rose 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite, which habitually underperforms on news supporting the reopening of pandemic-stricken economies, fell 0.2%. 

All three indices had been clearly lower in premarket trading before Merck's news broke.

Merck stock rose 7.8% on the news. Before the news, it had been down around some 10% since the start of the pandemic, underperforming rivals such as Moderna and Pfizer who had successfully brought to market a new generation of messenger RNA-based vaccines.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock was down 9.8% on the news, while BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) stock was down 11% and Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) stock down 2.2%. Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock fell 17%, while AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) ADRs fell 1.2%.

The news also gave wings to other sectors typically sensitive to social distancing and lockdown measures. Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) stock rose 5.2% while United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) stock rose 5.8% and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) stock rose 3.7%.  Hotel operators Hyatt (NYSE:H) and Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR) each rose 3.8%, and cruise operators Carnival (NYSE:CCL) and Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) both rose around 4%. Uber (NYSE:UBER) stock rose 3.6%.

Elsewhere, Jefferies  (NYSE:JEF) stock rose 1.9% after reporting earnings that nearly doubled in the latest quarter due to the boom in merger and acquisition activity in the U.S. 

Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM) stock rose 0.6% and Five9 (NASDAQ:FIVN) stock rose 0.5% as the two companies abandoned plans to combine. 

Earlier, a week full of economic data had ended on an upbeat note, with both the Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing survey and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment coming in ahead of expectations. The ISM study in particular remains indicative of a strong expansion, with an index at a four-month high of 61.1. Personal income and spending data, released earlier showed incomes nearly flatlining in August, but spending still running ahead of expectations with a monthly gain of 0.8%. 

Price data for personal consumer expenditures, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation, didn't change expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin phasing out its bond purchases in November. Minnesota Fed President Neel Kashkari, a noted inflation 'dove' said on Thursday said he was comfortable with such a timeline, suggesting that there is no resistance among policymakers to such a move.

Wall Street Opens Higher as Merck News Hints at Covid Game-Changer; Dow up 150 Pts
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email