Pfizer’s COVID vaccine candidates cause a rally in risk assets

Pfizer’s COVID vaccine candidates cause a rally in risk assets
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Commenting on Pfizer’s COVID vaccine candidates and today’s trading Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:

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Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The major indices are mixed and flat at midday as stocks settled down following two positive sessions on Wall Street. Pfizer (PFE) published positive early-stage data about one of its COVID vaccine candidates, which led to a strong rally in risk assets just before the bell following a bearish overnight session. The fresh round of protests in Hong Kong against the new Chinese national security law weighed on investor sentiment, and despite the much better-than-expected German retail sales number most key overseas indices closed in the red.

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The ADP payrolls number came in below the consensus estimate, at a positive 2.37 million, but since last month’s reading was revised higher by almost 6 million, overall, the report was bullish ahead of tomorrow’s government jobs report. There is no doubt about the positive bias of the ISM manufacturing PMI, which came in well above expected, at 52.6, signaling expansion in the sector, while the sizable dip in crude oil inventories also supports the bullish case. The minutes of the latest Fed meeting will be released at 2 pm EST, but before that, choppy trading could continue in stocks.

Market Wrap

Dow: 25,745, - 47 or 0.2%

S&P 500: 3,101, + 5 or 0.2%

Nasdaq: 10,106, + 48 or 0.5%

Russell 2000: 1,430, - 14 or 1.0%

Market breadth has been in line with the performance of the large-cap benchmarks, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by a 2-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Only 6 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 53 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been hovering around their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) throughout the morning session, pointing to a choppy and mixed afternoon. Real estate stocks have been defying the drop in the number of mortgage applications, with the sector being in the strongest position at midday, but financials, energy-related issues, and industrials have been lagging behind a bit again in the choppy trading environment. Stay tuned!

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