Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Pfizer, BioNTech – In an interim analysis of a phase 3 study, the drug makers said their Covid-19 vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in participants who were not previously infected. Stock futures surged following the announcement, and both companies saw shares gain more than 10% just before 7:45 a.m. ET.
McDonald's – McDonald's reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.22 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $1.90, with revenue slightly above Wall Street forecasts. Comparable store sales were down 2.2% globally, but increased by 4.6% in the United States as sales in those stores benefitted from stronger average check growth. Shares were up 5% in premarket trading just before 7:45 a.m. ET.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines – These and other travel stocks are getting a boost from the news that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate proved more than 90% effective in an interim analysis. Several of those stocks posted gains of more than 20% just before 7:45 a.m. ET.
Canopy Growth – The cannabis producer reported a smaller-than-expected loss, as well as greater-than-expected revenue for its latest quarter, benefitting from cost cuts as well as a greater number of people using its products amid the pandemic. Shares were up roughly 4% just before 7:45 a.m. ET.
Party City – The party supplies retailer reported an adjusted profit of 10 cents per share, compared to forecasts of a 32 cents per share loss. Revenue was also above forecasts, with Party City seeing better-than-expected results for October and for Halloween in particular. Party City also gave a better than expected current quarter outlook. The stock was up 26% just before 7:45 a.m. ET.
Berkshire Hathaway – Berkshire reported a third quarter drop in operating profit compared to a year earlier, as the insurance underwriting operation lost money, but Berkshire posted an overall profit thanks to the rising value of its equity investments. Shares were up 5% just after 7:45 a.m. ET.
Navistar - Volkswagen's truck unit Traton finalized its deal to buy the remainder of truck maker Navistar that it did not already own for $3.7 billion. Traton already had a 16.7% stake in Navistar and agreed in mid-October to raise a prior bid. Shares of the company were marginally higher just before 8 a.m. ET.
F5 Networks - Activist investor Elliott Management has taken a stake in the software management company, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Wall Street Journal. The size of the stake could not be determined, but the paper said Elliott has already spoken to management about ways to boost shareholder value. Shares of the company were up 10% just before 8 a.m. ET.
Apple, Sony – Apple and Sony have both held talks about buying podcast producer Wondery, according to the Wall Street Journal. Wondery is said to be seeking $300 million to $400 million in a possible sale. Apple and Sony stocks were each slightly higher just before 8 a.m. ET.
The Container Store – The Container Store was upgraded to "neutral" from "sell" at Goldman Sachs, which thinks the retailer of organization and storage products will continue to benefit from Covid-19 related tailwinds. Shares rose 5% before 8 a.m. ET.
Nordstrom – Nordstrom was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" at Telsey Advisory Group, which points to the retailer's business model and current valuation as positive factors. The stock had gained 15% in premarket trading just before 8 a.m. ET.
GlaxoSmithKline — ViiV Healthcare – which is majority owned by Glaxo – said an injectable experimental treatment to prevent HIV infection in women is 89% more effective than daily pills. The stock was up roughly 2% before 8 a.m. ET.
First Solar, Sunrun, SunPower – These and other solar stocks could see a boost following Joe Biden's presidential election victory, with the president-elect favoring a robust alternative energy agenda. Just before 8 a.m. ET, each stock had gained at least 3%.