Dow rises nearly 400 points as stocks rebound from last week’s selloff, amid vaccine hopes, deal-making


U.S. stocks rose Monday, taking back a chunk of last week’s losses amid fresh hope for a coronavirus vaccine and a flurry of potential corporate mash ups announced over the weekend, including reports that Oracle may be forging a partnership with TikTok, the popular China-owned social media platform.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 384 points, or 1.4%, to 28,049. The S&P 500
added 54 points, or 1.6%, to 3,395. The Nasdaq Composite
climbed 216 points, or 2%, to 11,070.

Equities ended Friday with the Dow posting a weekly loss of 1.7%, while the S&P 500 fell 2.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 4.1%, marking its worst weekly plunge since the period ended March 20, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Equities on Wall Street took on a buoyant tone at the start of the week as investors drew optimism from progress reported on the COVID-19 front, after market turbulence last week led the Nasdaq Composite to post its steepest weekly decline since the height of the pandemic-driven selloff in March.

“The market is moving up on several deals along with renewed hopes of a vaccine as AstraZeneca restarts trials and Pfizer’s CEO suggest a vaccine may be ready by year-end,” wrote Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, in a Monday research note.

Notably, reports that the AstraZeneca PLC
 said over the weekend that clinical trials for its experimental coronavirus vaccine resumed after trials were paused due to an unexplained illness contracted by one of the participants who was given the vaccine. The restart of the trial for the vaccine may offer some optimism for the bulls to start the week.

In addition to the AstraZeneca report, Pfizer Inc.’s
CEO Albert Bourla in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” on Sunday said that the pharmaceutical giant should know if its own experimental COVID-19 vaccine works by the end of October — and if approved, it could be distributed in the U.S. by the end of the year.

At the same time, some investors say they aren’t getting taken away by the prospects of a coronavirus vaccine, as it remains unclear how swiftly a successful vaccine candidate could be produced in mass quantities and handed out to the broader public.

“The arrival of a vaccine will be a game changer. But even if we start to see anything near broad distribution in the first quarter of next year, the turnaround is going to be gradual. As we have seen with testing, getting broad distribution and ubiquitous access isn’t trivial,” said James Meyer, chief investment officer at Tower Bridge Advisors.

A flourish of deal activity also was being digested as shares of Oracle Corp.
jumped 4.9% after it was named a strategic partner for the U.S. operations of ByteDance-owned TikTok, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. Such a deal would see Oracle beat Microsoft Corp., which also was seen as a front-runner in negotiations for a deal to own or operate the U.S. operations of TikTok.

Oracle confirmed that its name was submitted by ByteDance to serve as the “trusted technology provider” for TikTok, in a proposal given to the Treasury Department.

An agreement to link up TikTok with a U.S. company comes amid rising tensions between America and China, with President Donald Trump threatening repeatedly to shut down TikTok in the U.S. if it isn’t sold to an American company by Sept. 15.

Elsewhere on the tech scene, chip maker Nvidia Corp.
was seen nearing a deal to buy British chip-designer Arm Holdings for more than $40 billion from SoftBank Group Corp. and drugmaker Gilead Sciences
 struck a deal to acquire Immunomedics
and its breast-cancer drug Trodelvy for $21 billion, the Journal reported.

The 10-year Treasury note yield
was down 1 basis point to 0.66%. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

Gold futures
on the New York Mercantile Exchange were up 1.2% to $1,971 an ounce. Meanwhile, U.S. crude futures
were down 0.4% to $37.18 a barrel.

In global equities, the Stoxx Europe 600 index
rose 0.2% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100
ended with a 0.1% loss. Japan’s Nikkei
 closed 0.7% higher, while China’s CSI 300 index
gained 0.5%.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a measure of the greenback’s strength against its major rivals, weakened 0.4%.

U.S. stock index futures rose late Sunday, as a series of deals raised hopes that battered stocks would recover after the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended its worst week since March. As of midnight Eastern, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures undefined were up around 300 points, or 1%, while S&P 500 futures undefined gained 1.2% and Nasdaq-100 futures undefined surged 1.5%. Investors appeared to be encouraged Sunday after Gilead reached a $21 billion deal to acquire Immunomedics, Nvidia agreed to a $40 billion deal to buy Arm Holdings from Japan’s SoftBank, and Oracle appeared poised to take over TikTok’s U.S. operations. Stocks closed up modestly higher Friday, but ended the week sharply lower. For the week, the Dow undefined shed 1.7%, while the S&P 500 undefined fell 2.5% and the Nasdaq undefined dropped 4.1%

Mark DeCambre is MarketWatch’s markets editor. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @mdecambre.

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