AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Candidate Approved By The U.K.

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Commenting on AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Candidate being approved in the U.K. and today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:

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Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

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.

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.

Market Wrap

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!