Dow futures were pointing to a strong advance at Monday's open, looking to build on last week's momentum, which propelled the Nasdaq to another record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 3.25% for the holiday-shortened week, and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 advanced 4.6% and 4%, respectively. Wall Street powered forward despite the surge in daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. and around the world. (CNBC)
Shanghai stocks soared nearly 6% overnight as the Chinese government signaled it was a good time to buy equities. A state-run newspaper ran a front page editorial that said that after the pandemic fostering a healthy bull market is more important to the Chinese economy than ever. (CNBC)
In the first major purchase from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway since the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent market collapse in March, the conglomerate is spending $4 billion to buy the natural gas transmission and storage assets of Dominion Energy (D). Shares of Dominion surged in overnight premarket trading but pulled back to around breakeven. (CNBC)
Shares of Uber (UBER) were soaring in premarket trading Monday after the ride-sharing and food delivery giant agreed to buy Postmates in a $2.65 billion all-stock agreement. Uber had wanted to buy GrubHub (GRUB) through its Uber Eats business, but that deal fell apart, and Europe's Just Eat Takeaway swooped with a $7.3 billion deal.
IN THE NEWS TODAY
During an Independence Day speech at the White House, President Donald Trump claimed, without evidence, that 99% of coronavirus cases in the U.S. are "totally harmless." Trump plans to hold an outdoor New Hampshire campaign rally Saturday. After his indoor rally last month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, several campaign staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive for the coronavirus. (Reuters)
A weekend of Fourth of July celebrations, with a scarcity of masks and social distancing, raised concerns that rising coronavirus cases in 39 states could get worse. Florida and Texas reported 11,445 and 8,258 new cases for Saturday, the highest single day totals for both states since the pandemic began. The U.S. had over 45,300 new cases Saturday and nearly 50,000 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
New worldwide Covid-19 cases topped 192,400 on Saturday and 182,400 on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins data. Total global cases of the virus, which originated in China late last year, were approaching 11.5 million Monday, with more than 534,400 deaths. A quarter of the world's cumulative infections and fatalities are in the United States.
* In an open letter, 239 scientists in 32 countries claims coronavirus is airborne (NY Times)
Medical products maker Becton Dickinson (BDX) said the FDA has granted emergency use authorization for its rapid Covid-19 test that can deliver results in 15 minutes. The test can be used with the company's BD Veritor PLUS portable analysis system. (Reuters)
* Regeneron begins coronavirus antibody cocktail late-stage trial (Reuters)
* Regeneron and Sanofi say arthritis drug Kevzara fails Covid-19 study (Reuters)
Nick Cordero, the Broadway actor who struggled for months with coronavirus complications, died Sunday. He was 41. Cordero was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in late March for what was initially thought to be pneumonia. A first coronavirus test came up negative, though a subsequent test was positive. (USA Today)
Authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia issued a warning Sunday, one day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. Last week, in a separate worrisome development out of China, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said a new strain of flu carried by pigs in China has characteristics of the 2009 and 1918 pandemics. (Reuters and CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
JMP Securities raised its Tesla (TSLA) price target to a Street-high $1,500 per share from $1,050, saying the electric automaker is positioned to generate $100 billion in annual revenue by 2025.
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) may cut its planned special dividend related to its upcoming merger with Peugeot parent PSA Groupe, according to an Italian newspaper. The automaker is trying to conserve cash as the pandemic impacts global auto sales.
Another key test flight for Boeing's (BA) grounded 737 Max jet could take place as soon as this week, according to the Wall Street Journal. An "operational readiness review" will be conducted involving government pilots and airline crews from around the world.
A union representing workers at Brazilian jet maker Embraer (ERJ) filed a lawsuit seeking to dismiss the company's board, after a $4.2 billion deal to sell the majority of Embraer's commercial aviation unit to Boeing fell apart. The union accuses the company of acting in bad faith, while Embraer said the union's allegations are unfounded.
A top Qiagen (QGEN) shareholder told Reuters that the takeover deal agreed to by the medical products maker in March no longer makes sense unless that bid is increased substantially. Qiagen agreed to be bought by Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) for $11.5 billion in March, but demand for Qiagen's coronavirus testing products have surged since then.
Spotify (SPOT) was downgraded to underperform from "market perform" at Bernstein, which said that although podcasts could increase the streaming service's market share, it will not add much to the bottom line.
Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (HOG) was rated buy in new coverage at Citi, which notes an attractive valuation and the potential for a significant turnaround under the company's new CEO.
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