U.S. stocks dropped sharply yesterday as political uncertainty continues to weigh on the market. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed the session down 1.6%
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Talks between the Democrats and Republicans have stalled in recent weeks, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her party will walk away from the table until after the election if a deal isn’t reached by Tuesday night.
Reports indicate Pelosi and the White House’s lead negotiator, Treasury Sect. Steve Mnuchin, were talking late into the evening. News could come at any time, and it’s sure to have an impact on the market. Stay tuned.
In Asia, markets were mostly flat. The Shanghai Composite’s 0.5% gain was the sharpest move in the region.
European stocks are mixed mid-way through the session. Britain’s FTSE 100 leads the pack with a 0.4% gain, and the Eurozone Stoxx 600 is flat.
U.S. futures are pointing towards a higher open today, with S&P 500 contracts currently up 0.8%.
Today’s earnings docket includes reports from Proctor & Gamble [PG], Lockheed Martin [LMT], and Prologis [PLD] before the bell.
After the close, we’ll hear from Netflix [NFLX], Snap [SNAP], and Texas Instruments [TXN].
Proctor & Gamble [PG]
P&G released its fiscal Q1 earnings report this morning, and traders liked what they heard. The consumer staples firm topped Wall Street expectations for both earnings and revenues. PG also raised its full-fiscal-year organic sales growth forecast to between 4% and 5%.
It was a blowout quarter for the company, and consumer staples stocks tend to outperform in uncertain markets. The mid-term prospects for PG look good, and the stock is trading actively this morning with a 1.5% gain.
Intel Corp. [INTC]
Intel has agreed to sell some of its basic chip businesses to South Korean chipmaker, SK Hynix, in a $9 billion deal. The deal include’s Intel’s NAND SSD, component, and wafer businesses; plus its NAND memory manufacturing facility in China. The deal is expected to close in 2021, pending regulatory approval.
These businesses generated $2.8 billion in revenues for Intel over the first six months of 2020 and contributed $600 million to Intel’s non-volatile memory solutions group operating income.
INTC is trading actively on news of the sale, but price action is muted. The stock is currently up 0.7% in the pre-market.
Acorda Therapeutics [ACOR]
Acorda Therapeutics says its entitled to receive a $15 million milestone payment under its deal with Biogen International GMBH. That’s a hefty sum for a tiny company like Acorda. With a market cap of only $32.9 million, the payment represents almost half of the company’s valuation.
The payment stems from an earlier deal with Biogen that gave the larger, international drug firm license to distribute Acorda’s multiple sceloris drug outside of the U.S. Under the terms of the deal, Biogen agreed to make additional milestone payments to Acorda if the drug sold well.
The milestone payment is a big deal for a tiny biotech firm like Acorda. ACOR is one the pre-market’s most active stocks and it’s currently posting gains of 79.7% deal.
Aptinyx Inc. [APTX]
An ongoing study into an experimental Aptinyx PTSD treatment is showing promise mid-way through trials. The 153-patient study found that NYX-783 has shown ‘statistically significant and and clinically meaningful efficacy results with a favorable adverse event and tolerability profile.’
In other words, it’s looking good for NYX-783 early on. The company says it plans to move forward with pivotal clinical trials in 2021.
PTSD is becoming an increasingly prevalent mental health issue in the developing world, and effective treatment options are scarce. Aptinyx might be onto something with NYX-783, and the news sent share prices skyrocketing. APTX currently leads the pre-market with a 110.3% gain.