U.S. stock futures traded sharply higher on Wednesday after Moderna said its coronavirus vaccine candidate produced antibodies in all patients participating in an early trial. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures surged more than 500 points. Airlines and cruise operator stocks also rose amid hopes for a faster economic recovery from the pandemic.
Goldman Sachs reported quarterly numbers for the previous quarter that easily exceeded analyst expectations, sending the bank's stock up more than 4%. The bank reported earnings per share of $6.26 per share on revenue of $13.3 billion. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected a profit of $3.78 per share on revenue of $9.75 billion. Goldman's global markets trading revenues surged 93% from the year-earlier period as equities trading had its best quarter in 11 years.
Apple shares popped 2% after the European Union's general court ruled in favor of the tech giant in a landmark case against the European Commission over Irish taxes. The court said the commission failed to prove the Irish government had given Apple a tax advantage, and thus the company shouldn't have to pay the $15 billion in taxes being disputed.
President Donald Trump has signed legislation to hit China with sanctions as Beijing interferes with Hong Kong's autonomy. The law would sanction Chinese officials and companies that helped back a security law that suppresses dissent in Hong Kong. Trump also said Tuesday he signed an executive order ending preferential treatment for Hong Kong. "Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China," Trump said.
Wednesday marked the deadline for people in the U.S. to file their 2019 tax returns, which had been postponed from April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The extension from the traditional deadline was meant to alleviate some of the financial pressures put on households by the pandemic.