AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate met its primary endpoint showing protection from COVID-19 occurring 14 days or more after receiving two doses of the vaccine. One dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90% when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, and another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart. No serious safety events related to the vaccine have been confirmed. AstraZeneca will now immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
U.S. stock-index futures traded mixed Sunday evening as investors geared up for a holiday-shortened week, with hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on the rise. On Saturday, there were 83,227 people hospitalized with the disease derived from the novel strain of coronavirus, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Saturday's record marks a series of records for hospitalizations since Nov. 10. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 15 points, or less than 0.1%, at 29,197; those for the S&P 500 index fell less than 0.1% at 3,553, while Nasdaq-100 futures were up 0.2% at 11.927.50. On Friday, the Dow booked a 0.7% loss, the S&P 500 ended the week with a 0.8% declined, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished the week 0.2% higher. The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index gained 2.4% over the period, outstripping its large-cap rivals over the stretch. In the coming week, U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, with volume likely to be low in the following session. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech on Friday submitted an application for an emergency use authorization for their trial COVID-19 vaccine candidate, making their vaccine candidate the first in line with U.S. regulators. The two companies had said earlier Friday that the submission to the Food and Drug Administration was coming. The companies earlier this week said the vaccine, called BNT162b2, had an efficacy rate of 95% in a late-stage clinical trial. "It is with great pride and joy and even a little relief that I can say that our request for emergency use authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine is now in the FDA's hands," Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Boula said on a company's tweet announcing the development. Shares of Pfizer rose 0.4% and American depositary receipts of BioNTech 0.1% in the extended session Friday, after ending the regular trading day up 1.4% and 9.6%. Later Friday, the FDA said its advisory committee will meet to discuss the companies' vaccine candidate on Dec. 10. Details will be available next week, it said. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Stock indexes finished the week with a whimper Friday, finishing lower as the market capped a choppy stretch of trade, framed by rising cases of coronavirus and worries above government support to help businesses and workers to end the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day down by about 220 points, or 0.8%, the S&P 500 index closed the session down 0.7% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed off 0.4%. For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 ended down 0.7%, and the Nasdaq finished the week up 0.4%. The U.S. Treasury's decision to allow several emergency Federal Reserve programs to expire against the wishes of the Federal Reserve deflated some of the bullishness on Wall Street. However, stocks had been mostly punching higher on the 5-day trading period on the back of further upbeat vaccine news; but concerns about a spotty economic recovery as the viral outbreak assumes a new deadly phase has caused some selling and repositioning on Wall Street heading into the holidays.
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Oil futures rose on Friday, prompting U.S. prices to post a gain of 5% for the week. Promising developments on potential COVID-19 vaccines, which would help ease economic restrictions and the loss of energy that may go with it, have provided support for prices. On its expiration day, December West Texas Intermediate crude rose 41 cents, or 1%, to settle at $42.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. January WTI oil , which is the new front-month contract, settled at $42.42 a barrel, up 52 cents, or 1.2%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.