Before the Bell - The U.S. stock market advanced nicely yesterday, although in a somewhat uneven fashion. Moreover, much of that strength carried over into the international markets overnight. In Asia, the Nikkei made some progress, and in Europe, the FTSE 100 put in a solid session. On our shores, the futures are currently hinting at a mixed opening, suggesting strength in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but softness in the NASDAQ.

Of note, yesterday investors were quite pleased to learn that a coronavirus vaccine may soon be forthcoming. Specifically, drug giant Pfizer (PFE) and a partner announced that their drug candidate has proven 90% effective in combating the illness. In the coming weeks, Pfizer will probably request that the FDA approve the vaccine for emergency use. Most likely, broader approvals will follow, but it may take time before the vaccine is available to the public, and a tangible improvement in daily life is seen once again. Needless to say, yesterday shares of Pfizer traded nicely higher in response to the news.

Moreover, battered shares of companies in sectors that have been directly impacted by the pandemic rebounded sharply. For example, issues in the lodging, gaming, retail, and airline industries saw a good deal of investor interest. Conversely, companies in the technology, e-commerce, and work-from-home space did not participate in the rally. Also, safe havens, such as precious metals were not popular. Assuming the pandemic gradually lessens in ferocity, there may be further sector rotation ahead on Wall Street. 

Elsewhere, over the past weekend, the major news agencies declared that former Vice President Joe Biden won the Presidential Election. Wall Street seemed pleased with the outcome, as it may signal a return to a more predictable political climate, as well as improved trade relations with China. Possibly, some may be hoping that a shift in Washington will make it easier for stimulus measures to win approval. However, it should be noted that it has not been easy making progress on that front lately. What’s more there are indications that we will have a divided government.

In economic news, no major economic reports are being released today. Tomorrow will be quiet, as well. The EIA’s crude oil inventories issuance will be the main item out. On Thursday, the Consumer Price Index for October, and the latest weekly jobless claims numbers, will be released. Meanwhile, corporate profits are still an area of focus for Wall Street. The third-quarter earnings season is still in progress, and exerting an influence on the market. Yesterday, Beyond Meat (BYND) put out a disappointing report and that stock is under pressure. Earlier this morning we heard from home builder D.R. Horton (DHI), Rockwell Automation (ROK), and Advance Auto Parts (AAP). 

Technically, equities put in a volatile, and not very productive, showing in October. However, the market has performed quite well in the first days of November. Yesterday’s advance put the S&P 500 Index back near record high ground.  – Adam Rosner

At the time of this article’s writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.