By Mischa Frankl-Duval
Here's what we are watching as markets kick into gear Monday.
-- U.S. stock futures rose on optimism that talks for additional stimulus are progressing and that the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines could help stem the pandemic.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked up 0.5%, suggesting the index may edge higher after the New York opening bell. Contracts tied to the Nasdaq-100 Index gained 0.4%.
Read our full markets wrap here.
What's Coming Up
-- Amdocs and Plantronics are among companies presenting at the Cowen Networking Summit.
Market Movers to Watch
-- Boston-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals leaped almost 34% in premarket trade after AstraZeneca agreed to buy the company for $39 billion in cash and stock, a move that would bolster the British drug giant's footprint in rare diseases. AstraZeneca shares fell more than 5% in London.
-- Pfizer shares rose 1.5% before the bell. The company's vaccine, developed jointly with BioNTech, began shipping over the weekend from its production facility in Michigan.
-- Pluralsight shares rose 5% premarket. Private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners agreed to buy the firm in a deal that values Pluralsight at $20.26 a share, above Friday's closing price of $18.98.
-- Shares in Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares rose 4.3% on news the company would merge with Detroit-based TCF Financial.
-- Several companies that have benefited from stay-at-home orders declined in offhours trade. Zoom Video Communications fell 1.3% while Teladoc Health fell 1.9%.
-- The British pound jumped 1.5% against the U.S. dollar and 1.2% against the euro Monday morning, after U.K. and European Union negotiators on Sunday agreed to extend their marathon Brexit talks.
Chart of the Day
Drugmakers have pulled off a remarkable feat: quickly developing vaccines that aim to stem a world-wide pandemic. Investors have been enthusiastic. Now the question is whether some upstarts can justify these windfall share-price gains.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 14, 2020 07:13 ET (12:13 GMT)Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.