Commenting on AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Candidate being approved in the U.K. and today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
AstraZeneca's COVID Vaccine Candidate Approved For Emergency Use
The major indices are all trading modestly higher at midday, erasing part of their intraday losses from yesterday. Small-caps bounced back hard following yesterday’s scary-looking drop in the Russell 2000, so the leading index of the past weeks could end the year in a bullish fashion with the $600 direct coronavirus stimulus payments already having started today. AstraZeneca’s (AZN, +1%) vaccine candidate was approved by the U.K. for emergency use, which could further accelerate the European vaccination program.
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In economic news, the Chicago PMI beat expectations by a wide margin, proving the strength of the manufacturing sector yet again. On a negative note, pending home sales dropped unexpectedly by over 2.5%, which is another sign that the “mini-boom” in the housing market could be running out of steam. The dollar’s bearish trend continues to dominate currency markets in the illiquid holiday environment, and the wider-than-expected goods trade deficit added to the selling pressure this morning.
Dow: 30,518, + 182 or 0.6%
S&P 500: 3,741 + 14 or 0.4%
Nasdaq: 12,893, + 43 or 0.3%
Russell 2000: 1,985, + 26 or 1.3%
Market breadth has been relatively strong this morning, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by an almost 5-to-1 ratio on the NYSE at midday. Only 4 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 71 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 mixed and choppy afternoon. Cyclical issues are having a great session thanks to the global risk rally and the positive PMI surprise, and since defensive stocks and the tech sector showing weakness, bulls could be in for a quiet afternoon session. Stay tuned!