Moderna, PNC, JD.com, Walmart: 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Stock futures soar after Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective; PNC will acquire the U.S. banking arm of Spain's BBVA for $11.6 billion; Simon Property and Taubman revise their merger terms.
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Here are five things you must know for Monday, Nov. 16:

1. -- Stock Futures Point to Strong Opening for Wall Street

Stock futures were soaring Monday after Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report said its coronavirus vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective in a late-stage clinical trial.

Moderna's 94.5% efficacy rate topped the 90% threshold reported by Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report last week, and noted the vaccine can last for up to six months when stored at standard freezer temperatures. 

The drugmaker said it expects to apply for emergency use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the coming weeks.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 532 points, S&P 500 futures gained 47 points and Nasdaq futures rose 38 points.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high of 3,585 on Friday and rose 2.2% for the week on rising optimism over a coronavirus vaccine. The U.S. over the weekend topped 11 million known cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Futures had been higher Monday morning after advisers to President-elect Joe Biden said they opposed a nationwide lockdown but preferred targeted measures to control the surge in U.S. coronavirus cases.

Vivek Murthy, who serves as co-chair of Biden's coronavirus advisory board, said strict lockdowns aren't always necessary if people comply with less restrictive measures such as wearing masks and social distancing.

“If we just lock down the entire country without targeting our efforts, then we are going to exacerbate the ‘pandemic fatigue’ people are feeling, you’re going to hurt jobs and the economy, you’re going to shut down schools and hurt the education of our children,” Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general, told “Fox News Sunday.”

Stocks in Asia closed Monday's session with sharp gains following signs of growth in both Japan and China.

For more on Asian markets read:

China Must Win Over Global Partners for Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery: Analyst

2. -- Baidu and Palo Alto Networks Report Earnings

Earnings reports are expected Monday from Palo Alto Networks  (PANW) - Get Report, Baidu  (BIDU) - Get Report, SmileDirectClub  (SDC) - Get Report, and Tyson Foods  (TSN) - Get Report.

JD.com's  (JD) - Get Report third-quarter earnings topped analysts' forecasts.

Reports are expected later in the week from Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report, Home Depot  (HD) - Get Report, Lowe's  (LOW) - Get Report, Kohl's  (KSS) - Get Report, NIO  (NIO) - Get Report, Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get Report, Target  (TGT) - Get Report, TJX Cos.  (TJX) - Get Report, Macy's  (M) - Get Report and Workday  (WDAY) - Get Report.

Walmart and Nvidia are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index for November at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Data on Retail Sales, Housing Starts and weekly Jobless Claims will be issued during the week. 

3. -- PNC to Buy U.S. Operations of Spain's BBVA for $11.6 Billion

PNC Financial Services  (PNC) - Get Report reached an agreement to acquire the U.S. banking operations of Spain's BBVA for $11.6 billion.

The deal would create the fifth-largest U.S. retail bank with more than $550 billion in assets, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported Sunday the two banks were nearing an agreement.

PNC will be buying BBVA USA Bancshares and its subsidiary, BBVA USA.

PNC said in a statement Monday it expects the deal to be 21% accretive to earnings in 2022. Merger and integration costs were estimated at $980 million, with cost savings from the deal of more than $900 million, PNC said.

PNC shares rose 1.81% in premarket trading to $125.

4. -- Simon Property, Taubman Revise Merger Deal

Simon Property  (SPG) - Get Report will buy rival mall owner Taubman Centers  (TCO) - Get Report for $43 a share, down from the original price of $52.50 the companies agreed to back in February, just before the coronavirus pandemic.

The deal also will put to rest litigation between the two companies. A trial was to begin Monday. 

Simon called off its original deal to buy Taubman for $3.6 billion and sought in court to have the transaction terminated. Many analysts speculated the move was a negotiating tactic to get a better price for the deal, Bloomberg noted.

The merger is expected to close in late 2020 or early 2021. 

Simon shares rose 4.11% in premarket trading Monday to $77.77. Taubman rose 8.03% to $42.65.

5. -- Walmart Sells Majority Stake in Japan's Seiyu

Walmart will sell most of its stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu to KKR & Co.  (KKR) - Get Report and e-commerce company Rakuten for more than $1 billion. 

KKR, the private-equity fund, will own 65% of Seiyu while Rakuten will take a 20% stake. Walmart will retain 15%.

Walmart first entered Japan when it purchased a 6% stake in Seiyu in 2002. The world's largest retailer has struggled in the country from stiff local competition.