Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, December 7:
1. -- Stock Futures Extend Surge As Omicron Concerns Recede
U.S. equity futures extended gains Tuesday, while tech stocks surged and the Treasury bond yields held firm, as investors looked past concerns linked to the Omicron variant and doubled-down on growth bets in the world's major economies.
Data from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline suggested its antibody-based COVID therapy is effective against all Omicron mutations while reports from South Africa, the epicenter of the outbreak, continue to indicate milder infections from the rapidly spreading variant.
Alongside the fading pandemic concerns, investors were also buoyed by China's decision yesterday to cut the so-called reserve ratio -- or the amount of cash needed to offset bad loans -- for the nation's biggest banks, a move that will inject billions of liquidity into the world's second largest economy as it grapples with the potential impact of an Evergrande collapse.
A stronger-than-expected reading for industrial output in Germany last month, as well as firm gains for crude and copper in the commodity markets, added to the bullish tone for global markets, setting up Wall Street for its second consecutive session of triple-digit gains for the Dow.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a 360 point opening bell gain while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for a 561 point advance. Futures tied to the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite are indicating a 28 point surge at the start of trading as benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields hold at 1.444%, in overnight trading.
2. -- GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotech Say COVID Therapy Effective Against Omicron Variants
Vir Biotechnology (VIR) - Get Vir Biotechnology, Inc. Report shares surged in pre-market trading after the San Francisco-based drugmaker, alongside its U.K.-based partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline Plc Report, said their COVID antiviral is effective against all mutations of the Omicron variant.
The pair said their COVID treatment, known as 'sotrovimab' -- which was approved for use in the U.K. earlier this month -- was found to have worked against the 37 different mutations in the spike protein of the Omicron variant in data published from a recently-completed study.
“Sotrovimab is the first monoclonal antibody to report preclinical data demonstrating activity against all tested SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and interest to date, including Omicron, as well as the still prevalent and highly contagious Delta variant," said CEO George Scangos. "Given the less than three-fold neutralization shift demonstrated in the pre-clinical pseudo-virus assay, we are confident that sotrovimab will continue to provide significant benefit for the early treatment of patients hoping to avoid the most severe consequences of COVID-19.”
Vir Bio shares were marked 10.6% higher in pre-market trading Tuesday to indicate an opening bell price of $42.46 each. GlaxoSmithKline's U.S.-listed shares edged 0.8% higher to $42.10 each.
3. -- Intel Plans $50 Billion Mobileye IPO
Intel Corp. (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report shares powered higher in pre-market trading after the chipmaker unveiled plans to list Mobileye, its self-driving car division, on the Nasdaq next year.
Intel, which bought Israel-based Mobileye for $15.3 billion in 2017, will retain a majority holding in the group, but noted that a listing is the "best opportunity to build on Mobileye's track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders."
With reports suggesting a listing value of around $50 billion for Mobileye, the cash infusion for Intel will go a long way towards funding its ambitions to boost its chip manufacturing, which it detailed earlier this year with plans to invest $20 billion to build two new factories in Arizona as it takes on Samsung and Taiwan Semi TSMC in the global semiconductor market.
Intel shares were marked 8.45% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $55.30 each.
4. -- Samsung Merges Phone and Electronics Units, Pares Leadership, In Major Restructure
Samsung Electronics unveiled its biggest corporate restructuring in years Tuesday with plans to merge its mobile and consumer electronics divisions and the naming of two co-CEOs at the world's second largest chipmaker.
Kyung Kye-hyun, who runs Samsung Electro-Mechanics, will lead Samsung's profit powerhouse chip division, while Han Jong-hee will take on the CEO role for the newly-created consumer electronics unit.
The paring down of business operations -- as well as corporate leaders -- marks the most significant push from Samsung to take on its smartphone and chip rivals -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report and Taiwan Semiconductor -- since 2017. Samsung has already pledged to invest more than $200 billion in various divisions over the next three years, and has vowed to overtake Taiwan Semi by the end of the decade.
Samsung shares closed 1.44%% higher in trading on the KOSPI in Seoul, ending the session at 77.4 Korean won each.
5. -- Musk To Biden: Drop Bill
Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report founder and CEO Elon Musk urged lawmakers to reject a bill that would boost subsidies for electric carmakers -- although not his -- arguing the costs would add an undue burden to the nation's deficit.
Tesla, which took a $465 million loan from the government in 2009 to begin construction of its manufacturing base in Freemont, California, would not be eligible for the additional $4,500 tax incentive proposed in President Biden's ' Build Back Better' stimulus bill owing to the lack of union representation on the shop floor.
"Honestly, it might be better if the bill doesn't pass. I'm literally saying get rid of all subsidies," Musk told the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit. "The government should, I think, just try to get out of the way and not impede progress."
Tesla shares, which have fallen for each of the past four sessions -- the longest losing streak since July -- were marked 3.4% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $1,043.05 each.