Stock futures rise on coronavirus vaccine hopes

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U.S. equity futures are trading higher ahead of the Wednesday Wall Street session following promising news about an experimental vaccine for the coronavirus.

The major futures indexes are suggesting a gain of 0.8 percent.

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Investors were encouraged by news that an experimental COVID-19 vaccine under development by Moderna and the U.S. National Institutes of Health revved up people’s immune systems just as desired.

In Europe, London’s FTSE is gaining 0.8 percent, Germany’s DAX added 0.9 percent and France’s CAC rose 0.9 percent.

In Asian markets on Wednesday, Tokyo’s Nikkei advanced 1.6 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.2 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 1.6 percent.

MODERNA STOCK SOARS FOLLOWING POSITIVE RESULTS IN CORONAVIRUS VACCINE CANDIDATE

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-easy monetary stance unchanged as it wrapped up a policy meeting. It forecast that the economy would improve later in the year, assuming there is no major “second wave” of outbreaks of the new coronavirus.

News about the vaccine came after the end of trading for U.S. markets, where after another day of unsettled trading the S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2.1 percent and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.9 percent.

The earnings reporting season has kicked off with three of the nation’s biggest banks painting a mixed picture of how badly the coronavirus pandemic is ripping through their businesses.

Like the broader market, financial stocks drifted between gains and losses for much of the day before turning higher in the afternoon. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup said they collectively set aside nearly $27 billion during the second quarter to cover loans potentially going bad due to the recession.

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Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 43 cents to $40.70 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 19 cents to settle at $40.29 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent oil, the international standard, picked up 41 cents to $43.31 per barrel. It rose 18 cents to $42.90 a barrel in London.