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Moderna, Coronavirus, Goldman Sachs, Tesla - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures rise after a coronavirus vaccine candidate from Moderna produces the desired immune response; Goldman Sachs reports earnings; Tesla secures tax breaks for Texas factory.

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, July 15:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise on Vaccine Progress

Stock futures rose Wednesday, getting a lift from news that a coronavirus vaccine candidate from Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report produced the desired immune response and stronger-than-expected earnings from Goldman Sachs Group  (GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Report.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 520 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 43 points and Nasdaq futures were up 69 points.

The vaccine, under development by Moderna and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, produced antibodies in all patients tested in an initial safety trial. The data was published Tuesday evening in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.

Scientists will begin a 30,000-person study July 27 to determine the vaccine's effectiveness against the coronavirus, which has infected more than 13.3 million people across the globe and killed nearly 580,000. 

“The cherry on top has to be the positive virus vaccine update as optimism on the vaccine is more than a show stopper. It's the ultimate recession stopper,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp.

“The positive coverage on a potential Covid-19 vaccine represents a rotating carousel of positive news that is overwhelming rising virus cases in the U.S.,” he added.

Stocks rose Tuesday in a choppy session as Wall Street weighed earnings from big U.S. banks and a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases.

The Dow rose 556 points, or 2.13%, to close at 26,642, and the S&P 500 gained 1.34%. The Nasdaq closed 0.94% higher.

2. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 13,323,530, according to Johns Hopkins University, and deaths increased to 578,628.

The U.S. has 3,431,574 cases of the coronavirus, the most in the world, according to Johns Hopkins. Deaths in the U.S. have risen to 136,466, also the most in the world.

Moderna shares were rising 13.55% to $85.21 in premarket trading Wednesday after results from a study of 45 people showed the company's coronavirus vaccine induced the desired immune response for all the patients.

“This is really quite good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

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“The gold standard of protection against a viral infection is neutralizing antibodies,” he added. “And the data from the study, small numbers as it may be, are pretty clear that this vaccine is capable of inducing quite good [levels] of neutralizing antibodies.”

Coronavirus deaths in Florida rose by a record 132 to 4,409 from Monday into Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Cases in the state rose 3.3% to 291,629.

Arizona reported 4,273 new coronavirus cases, the most in 11 days.

3. -- Goldman Sachs Reports Earnings

Goldman Sachs earned $6.26 a share in the second quarter, smashing analysts' estimates of $3.95.

The stock was rising 3.97% to $222.40 in premarket trading after the bank posted a surge in trading revenue linked to market volatility during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports also were issued Wednesday from U.S. Bancorp  (USB) - Get U.S. Bancorp Report, PNC Financial  (PNC) - Get PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Report and Bank of New York Mellon  (BK) - Get Bank of New York Mellon Corporation Report.

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The economic calendar Wednesday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for July at 8:30 a.m. ET, Import and Export Prices for June at 8:30 a.m., Industrial Production for June at 9:15 a.m. and Oil Inventories for the week ended July 10 at 10:30 a.m.

4. -- Tesla Secures $14.7M Tax Breaks if It Builds Factory in Texas

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report will receive tax breaks of at least $14.7 million if the electric carmaker builds its next factory in Travis County, Texas.

Under the terms of the deal, the amount of the tax incentives to Tesla could increase significantly if the company invests more than $1.1 billion in the manufacturing plant near Austin. Tesla has said the plant will employ 5,000 people, the Austin Statesman reported.

Tesla's newest factory is expected to build the all-electric Cybertruck and the Model Y.

5. -- Nissan Unveils Its First All-Electric SUV

Nissan's first all-electric SUV, the Ariya, has a range of as much as 379 miles and is expected to go on sale in mid-2021.

The Ariya is the Japanese carmaker's first entirely new product to be launched under new management that took over in December, Bloomberg noted.