Stock Futures Climb Amid Reports Trump Plans To Fast-track Vaccine

US stock futures climbed in overnight trading on Sunday as reports emerged that President Trump plans to circumvent US regulations in order to allow the use of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine. The FT, citing three people briefed on the plan, said that the Trump administration wants the vaccine - developed in the UK by AstraZeneca (AZN) and Oxford University - put into action before the presidential election in November. Currently, more than 60% of Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the pandemic, and the successful introduction of a vaccine might allow Trump to boost his chances. Elsewhere over the weekend, the US Food and Drug Administration authorised the use of convalescent plasma taken from recovered Covid-19 patients to treat serious cases.

In economic news, on Friday data was released showing that sales of existing homes in the US jumped 25% in July versus the previous month and 9% year-over-year, beating economists’ expectations as pent up demand was released.

Apple sustains market cap above $2trn

Growth and large cap stocks continued to dominate value and smaller-cap stocks last week, with the Nasdaq Composite surging close to 3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat and the S&P 500 delivered a modest gain. Apple (AAPL) was a significant driver behind the market rally, adding 8.2%, with its market cap surging past $2trn in the middle of the week and closing out Friday past $2.1trn. Despite record highs for both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite, analysts at Edward Jones highlighted in a Friday note that Q2 corporate profits came in 40% down on last year. They added that the economic recovery from here is likely to be uneven, pointing to the contrast between housing market strength and continued labour market weakness. “A new record high can’t erase all the risks to the economy of the biggest health emergency in 100 years,” they added.

S&P 500: +0.3% Friday, +5.2% YTD (+0.7% last week) (SPY, SPX)

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