Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
The Nasdaq on Monday was set to build on Friday's nearly 0.8% increase as the 10-year Treasury yield started the new week retreating from last week's 14-month high. The rapid rise in Treasury yields this year has been pressuring growth stocks, many of them tech names, as higher interest rates erode the value of future profits and squeeze market valuations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, which lost ground Friday, joined the Nasdaq in negative territory last week. The Dow and S&P 500 last closed at record highs Wednesday, while the Nasdaq last closed at a record in February.
AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine was 79% effective in preventing symptomatic illness, according to data published Monday from a 32,000-plus person phase 3 trial in the U.S. and in Latin America. The two-shot vaccine also showed 100% efficacy in preventing severe disease and hospitalization. AstraZeneca plans to file with the FDA for emergency use authorization in April. The latest trial data comes as a number of European nations temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine following reports of blood clots. AstraZeneca said Monday that an independent board identified no safety concerns related to the firm's inoculation.
Even as the pace of vaccinations accelerates in the U.S., Covid cases are increasing in 21 states and highly infectious variants are spreading as governors relax restrictions on businesses. Public health officials warn that while roughly 2.5 million people around the country are receiving shots every day, infection levels have plateaued this month. Nationwide, new infections are holding around 54,000 on average in the past seven days. That's a dramatic drop from January's peak. While fatalities are much lower as well, an average of 1,000 people died from Covid each day over the past seven days.
Canadian Pacific Railway has agreed to buy Kansas City Southern for $25 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. The combination would create the first rail network connecting the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Following Sunday's announcement, shares of Kansas City Southern rose about 17% in the premarket, while shares of Canadian Pacific Railway dropped about 2.5%. The deal comes as hopes grow that U.S.-Mexico trade will pick up now that Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump as president.
Shares of Tesla rose 4% in Monday's premarket after Cathie Wood's Ark Invest made a long-awaited, bold call, projecting the Elon Musk-led electric auto maker's stock would more than quadruple by 2025. Last year, Ark Invest estimated Tesla would hit $1,400 adjusted for its 5-for-1 stock split by 2024. The firm now sees the stock reaching $3,000 per share by 2025 in its base case, and reaching $4,000 per share in its bull case. Wood's bear case still sees it hitting $1,500 by 2025. Tesla, which closed at $654 per share Friday, has soared 665% in the past 12 months. However, the stock over the past month and year to date has hit a rough patch.
— Reuters contributed to this report. Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC's coronavirus blog.