Dow Futures Slip After Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Pause

The Tuesday Market Minute

  • Global stocks mixed as concerns for a pause in Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine trial is partly offset by solid China trade data.
  • Johnson & Johnson becomes the second “Operation Warp Speed’ trial to pause following the unexplained illness of one of its participants, raising questions about the efficacy of the andenovirus technique.
  • China posts a 13.2% surge in September imports, narrowing its trade surplus with the United States to $30.75 billion.
  • European stocks slide as lockdowns accelerate around the region and a key reading of investor sentiment from Germany disappoints.
  • Oil prices bump higher following the stronger-than-expected China trade data and output returns in Norway and the U.S. Gulf.
  • U.S. equity futures suggest a mixed open on Wall Street ahead of the unofficial start to the third quarter earnings season with updates expected from Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan, Citigroup and Delta Airlines.

U.S. equity futures were mixed Tuesday following news of a pause in a key coronavirus vaccine trial linked to an unexplained illness as markets brace for the unofficial kick-off to the third quarter earnings season.

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) – Get Report said its late stage vaccine trial, which incudes some 60,000 volunteers, has been placed on a temporary pause following the illness, a condition that mirrors a similar decision taken by AstraZeneca  (AZN) – Get Report it its own vaccine study last month. 

The news wasn’t harsh enough, however, to tame the recent rally in U.S. stocks, which continue to test multi-week highs heading into the start of the third quarter earnings season, with updates from Johnson & Johnson, Citigroup  (C) – Get Report, Delta Air Lines  (DAL) – Get Report and JPMorgan  (JPM) – Get Report due later this morning.

Stronger-than-expected trade data from China, as well, gave markets a boost overnight, as that country’s customs office reported a 9.9% in September exports, paired by a 13.2% surge in imports, a move that narrowed its trade surplus with the United States by $4 billion to $30.75 billion.

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