Alexion, Pluralsight, Pfizer: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

 Alexion, Pluralsight, Pfizer: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

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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.

Boxes containing the first shipments of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are unloaded from air shipping containers in Louisville, Ky.  on Dec. 13.

Boxes containing the first shipments of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are unloaded from air shipping containers in Louisville, Ky. on Dec. 13.

Photo: Pool/Getty Images


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%.

Market Fact

—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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