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Stocks Gain, China Cracks Down on Tech and Kids May Soon Get COVID Vaccine - 5 Things To Know

Stock futures higher as growth bets return; China extends big-tech crackdown; Democrats plot tax increases to pay for Biden spending and kids may have access to Pfizer's COVID vaccine before Halloween

Here are five things you must know for Monday, September 13:

1. -- Stock Futures Higher As Growth Bets Return

Wall Street futures traded higher Monday as the two main U.S. indices looked to snap their longest losing streak since February ahead of key readings on inflation and retail sales later this week.

Recovery bets are starting to emerge again following weeks of uncertainty linked to both the ongoing rise in Delta-variant coronavirus infections and the timing of stimulus withdraw from the world's major central banks.

However, with the European Central Bank offering only a partial tapering of its bond purchases, while boosting growth forecasts, investors are now looking at an autumn glide path for stocks based on a similar move by the Federal Reserve later this month.

Much could depend on key data releases for inflation, which will be published on Tuesday, and retail sales, which are expected on Thursday. 

In the meantime, stock futures suggest solid opening bell gains on the first trading day of the week, with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicating a 190 point boost and those linked to the S&P 500 priced for a 27 point advance.

Nasdaq Composite futures are set for an 88 point gain, thanks in part to pre-market advances for big tech names such as Apple  (AAPL)  and Tesla  (TSLA) .

Oil prices were also moving into the green, taking WTI crude 67 cents higher to $70.39 per barrel, as traders continue to price-in the impact of a delayed return to full capacity for drilling installations in the Gulf of Mexico following damage from Hurricane Ida.

2. -- China Extends Big Tech Crackdown

Authorities in China extended their crackdown on the tech industry Monday with a warning to the country's biggest companies to stop blocking links to their rivals' platforms. 

In a move many analysts interpreted as another shot across the bow of tech giants Alibaba  (BABA)  and Tencent undefined, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it was "guiding relevant companies to carry out self-examination and rectification" of their long-standing practice of blocking access to rivals.

A further report from London's Financial Times suggested Beijing was also readying plans to force the split of Ant Group's popular Alipay while creating a new payment app that will be at least partially state-owned.

China's tech-focused CS300 in Shenzen fell 0.44% on the Monday session, while the U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba and Tencent were both marked lower in pre-market trading. 

3. -- Democrats Draft Tax Plans To Pay For Biden Stimulus 

House Democrats have drafted plans to raise taxes in order to pay for President Joe Biden's ambitious $3.5 trillion spending ambitions, taking aim at corporate levies and capital gains.

Reports suggest, however, that lawmakers will suggest tax levels that fall far shy of the President's targets, underscoring the difficulty his economic agenda faces in a divided House with only a narrow Democratic majority.

Corporate taxes would rise to 26.5% under the newly-drafted plans, with capital gains facing a top-tier level of 20%. Further taxes are expected to be added to cryptocurrency trading, executive compensation and tobacco and nicotine products. 

4. -- Kansas City Southern Choses Suitor 

In what could be the final move in a months-long battle for rail operator Kansas City Southern  (KSU) , company officials said Sunday that they will accept a $27.2 billion cash-and-stock offer from Canadian Pacific, reversing an earlier decision to go with a bid from its domestic rival, Canadian National.

CN, as it's known north of the border, still has to the end of the week to match or beat Canadian Pacific's improved bid, but needs to convince the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that it can navigate competition concerns over parallel rail lines in the central U.S. raised during its bidding process.

Once finalized, a Kansas City Southern/Canadian Pacific tie-up will create the first direct railway liking the U.S. to both its north American free-trade partners in Canada and Mexico.

5. --  Kids May Get COVID Vaccine Access Before Halloween

U.S. health officials could be ready to approve Pfizer's  (PFE)  coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11 as early as next month, according to multiple media reports. 

If Pfizer is able to provide sufficient clinical data in the coming weeks to indicate that its COVID vaccine, developed with Germany's BioNtech  (BNTX) , is eligible for Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, it could be cleared for broader use in children by the latter part of October.

'In a best-case scenario, given that timeline they've just laid out, you could potentially have a vaccine available to children aged 5 to 11 by Halloween,' former FDA director Scott Gottlieb, who sits on the board of Pfizer, told CBS's Face the Nation Sunday.  

'If everything goes well, the Pfizer data package is in order, and FDA ultimately makes a positive determination, I have confidence in Pfizer in terms of the data that they've collected," he added.