Stock futures rise as AstraZenenca vaccine gets approval in Britain – Fox Business

U.S. equity futures are gaining as another vaccine approval joins the fight against coronavirus.

The major futures indexes suggest an increase of 0.3% when trading begins on Wall Street.

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Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca as it battles a major winter surge driven by a new, highly contagious variant of the virus, Reuters reported.

On the economic docket, the Institute for Supply Management is out with its Chicago Purchasing Managers’ index for December. The closely-watched gauge of Midwest business activity is anticipated to dip for the third month in a row to a read of 57, down from 58.2 in November. Recall that 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.

The National Association of Realtors is out with its index of pending home sales for November. Economists are not expecting any change from October’s reading of 128.9. For context, August’s level of 132.9 was the highest on record. A sale is pending when a contract to buy a previously owned home has been signed and is awaiting closing.

In Europe, London’s FTSE added 0.2%, Germany’s DAX gained 0.1% and France’s CAC rose 0.1%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.5% to 27,444.17, a day after it surged more than 2% to its highest level in more than 30 years. Japanese markets will be closed Thursday through the end of the week, reopening Jan. 4.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 2.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite index advanced 1.1%.

The S&P 500 lost 0.2% on Tuesday, a day after major indexes notched their latest all-time highs after President Trump signed the $900 billion economic relief package.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 30335.67 -68.30 -0.22%
SP500 S&P 500 3727.04 -8.32 -0.22%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 12850.221074 -49.20 -0.38%

An effort by Trump to get bigger, $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks for individuals has stalled in the Republican-led Senate. For now, $600 checks are set to be delivered, along with other aid, in one of the largest rescue packages of its kind.

The S&P 500 fell 8.32 points to 3,727.04. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2%, to 30,335.67. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.4%, to 12,850.22.

With two days of trading left in 2020, the S&P 500 is up 15.4% this year, while the Nasdaq is up 43.2%.

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U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 33 cents to $48.33 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 38 cents to $48.00 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 25 cents to $51.34 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.