Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to open higher as Wall Street cheers positive vaccine news

BY THE NUMBERS

Dow futures pointed to an opening gain of more than 200 points as Wall Street responded to positive vaccine news from Pfizer and BioNTech while coronavirus cases rise. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also were higher. The Dow and S&P finished higher the past two weeks, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has pieced together three consecutive positive weeks. 

* Treasury yields little changed as investors monitor coronavirus spike (CNBC) 

New coronavirus cases in Florida eclipsed 15,000 on Sunday, the highest single-day total for any U.S. state since the pandemic began. Florida's total case count now sits at nearly 270,000, which is more than the totals of Spain and Italy. The U.S. has 3.3 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.    

WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 230,000 

PepsiCo (PEP) reported quarterly revenue and per-share earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, helping send shares higher by nearly 3% in premarket trading. There are no major data releases on Monday's economic calendar. (CNBC) 

Market heads into worst earnings season in 12 years amid worries virus is slowing recovery (CNBC) 

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) have received "fast track" designation from the Food and Drug Administration for two of their coronavirus vaccine candidates, the company's said Monday. Shares of Pfizer were higher by more than 2% in premarket trading, while shares of the German biotech firm were up over 9%. (Reuters) 

New York City had its first day in about four months with no new deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend, according to initial data from the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There were no deaths or probable deaths from Covid-19 on Saturday, the first time that has happened since March 13. New York City had once been the center of the U.S.'s outbreak, but has significantly lowered its daily numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. (NBC New York) 

Trump wears coronavirus mask publicly for first time during visit to Walter Reed military hospital (CNBC) 

The White House is taking steps to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci as the nation's leading infectious disease expert has recently issued warnings about the U.S.'s coronavirus response, NBC News reported. A White House official provided the news organization a list of Fauci's statements earlier in the pandemic, saying there was concern about "the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things." The statements in question were based on the best available data at the time. (NBC News) 

Tesla (TSLA) lowered the price of its Model Y by $3,000, just four months after deliveries of the electric SUV began in the U.S. The price cut comes after the carmaker in May also lowered the price for its Model 3, S and X in North America. In China, price cuts were issued for Model S and X vehicles. The price reductions for the Model Y may help Tesla continue sales momentum despite the coronavirus' impact to the broader auto market. (Reuters) 

WeWork now expects to have positive cash flow a year ahead of schedule in 2021, according to its executive chairman, Marcelo Claure. In an interview with the Financial Times, Claure said the office-sharing company has actually seen an uptick in demand for some services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. WeWork also improved its financial situation by cutting thousands of workers, selling assets and renegotiating leases. (FT) 

The Washington Redskins are reportedly going to announce Monday morning they will change their team name, which is widely viewed as a slur against Native Americans. Activists have been pushing for the move for years, but owner Daniel Snyder had long resisted it. Additional pressure from advertisers and sponsors, including FedEx, intensified in recent weeks. Washington is not expected to reveal its new name yet. (The Washington Post) 

STOCKS TO WATCH

Analog Devices (ADI) is buying fellow semiconductor maker Maxim Integrated (MXIM) for $20.91 billion in stock.  Analog shareholders will own 69% of the combined company, Maxim shareholders the remainder.  Separately, Analog raised its current quarter revenue guidance thanks to strength in end markets like industrial and communications.

Carnival (CCL) will cut 13 ships from its fleet, reducing capacity by about 9%. CEO Arnold Donald said the cruise line operator is aiming to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic as a leaner and more efficient operation.

Apple's (AAPL) shipments of its MacBook computers will rise more than 20% this quarter compared to the prior three months, according to a story in tech publication DigiTimes citing supply chain sources.

AMC Entertainment (AMC) will receive $300 million in new money from investors, as the nation's largest theater chain tries to restart its business.  Part of that new money will come via a deal with bondholders, who will swap $1.6 billion in current debt for new debt at a discounted rate.

Warehouse retailer Costco (COST) was rated "overweight" in new coverage at Atlantic Equities, with a $375 price target. The firm calls Costco a high quality retailer with predictable profitability driven by recurring membership fees.

Alibaba (BABA) co-founder Jack Ma cut his stake in the China-based online retail giant over the past year to 4.8% from 6.2%, according to an annual filing by the company.  The shares sold by Ma are worth about $8.2 billion at current prices.

Moderna (MRNA) was rated a "buy" by Jefferies in new coverage, based on its expectation that the biotech company's Covid-19 vaccine candidate will be approved and that it could generate about $5 billion in orders over the next few years.

WATERCOOLER

NBA players' pregame walk through the tunnel has become its own kind of fashion show in recent years, but that reportedly won't be happening when the basketball league gets back into action in Florida later this month. Players will need to arrive in full uniform for games as part of new coronavirus safety protocols, according to ESPN. However, face masks may provide players an opportunity to make a fashion statement, ESPN reported.