BY THE NUMBERS
Dow futures gained nearly 100 points to start the holiday-shortened week. The 30-stock average on Friday dropped 268 points, or 0.75%, on renewed concerns over increasing Covid cases, capping a rough stretch for blue chips. The Dow declined nearly 1.4% for the week. The S&P 500 fell slightly from a record close on Friday, but still came out slightly ahead for the week. The Nasdaq, supported by tech stocks, advanced Friday to close at another record high, and it gained more than 1.2% for the week. (CNBC)
U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving Day. The stock market closes early at 1 p.m. ET on Friday. If history is a guide, stocks should do well during the holiday week. The most important release is Wednesday’s personal consumption expenditures, which includes the inflation measure most watched by the Federal Reserve. (CNBC)
A potentially market-moving event is expected this week: President Joe Biden‘s nomination for the next Fed chief. Biden is expected to announce his pick in the coming days, with current Chairman Jerome Powell and Fed Governor Lael Brainard considered the most likely candidates. Many expect a more dovish central bank if Brainard prevails. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
Austria entered its fourth national lockdown Monday, as Covid cases raged across Europe. The Friday announcement of the mitigation measures, which sparked broad selling in global stock markets, also included a vaccine mandate, starting Feb. 1. Austria’s lockdown is expected to last 10 days, though officials said it could go longer if needed. (AP)
Austria hopes to lift the measures on Dec. 13 but may keep them in force for the unvaccinated. Tens of thousands of protesters marched through Vienna on Saturday ahead of the lockdown. Demonstrations against virus restrictions also erupted in Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands. (AP)
Shares of Moderna (MRNA) rose more than 2% in the premarket Monday after Covid shots for all adults got final clearance from U.S. health officials Friday. Moderna’s stock has had a rough month, falling 20%. Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) also rose on the booster approval. (CNBC)
Retail conglomerate Authentic Brands Group plans to shelve a planned initial public offering and instead sell significant equity stakes in its business to private investors. The deal, announced Monday, values the company behind retailers Forever 21, Aeropostale, Barneys New York, Brooks Brothers and Sports Illustrated magazine at $12.7 billion in enterprise value. (CNBC)
Elon Musk said Tesla‘s (TSLA) Model S Plaid vehicle may be launched in China early this coming spring. Responding to a question on Twitter overnight about when the electric sedan will come to China, CEO Musk said “probably around March.” Tesla shares rose 2% in the premarket. (CNBC)
Activision Blizzard (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick would consider leaving his job if he can’t fix culture problems at the video game maker, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company faced criticism for its handling of sexual misconduct allegations. Activision shares slid 1.4% in premarket trading.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Astra Space (ASTR) rocketed 38% higher in premarket trading, after Astra sent a rocket into orbit for the first time over the weekend. The rocket carried a U.S. Space Force payload.
Monster Beverage (MNST) is discussing a merger with Constellation Brands (STZ), according to multiple reports. The structure of such a deal is not yet known. Constellation rose 2% in the premarket, while Monster was down 0.3%.
Ericsson (ERIC) is buying U.S. cloud communications firm Vonage (VG) for $6.2 billion, with the deal expected to close in the first half of next year. Vonage soaredn nearly 26% in the premarket, while Ericsson slid 3.9%.
Apple (AAPL) won’t be able to deliver new iPads in time for Christmas in key Asian markets, according to Japan’s Nikkei news service. The report also said iPhone delivery delays aren’t quite as long, but still far longer than in a typical year.
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) added 1.4% in the premarket, while Melco Resorts (MLCO) gained 1.6%. Both resort operators rose on a South China Morning Post report that the border between Hong Kong and mainland China could reopen soon, potentially increasing the number of visitors to Macau casinos.
Bluebird Bio (BLUE) surged 7% in the premarket after the Food and Drug Administration granted priority review status for its treatment of a blood disorder known as thalassemia.