Kamala Harris, Tesla, Moderna, Cisco - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures rise after the S&P 500 posts its first decline in eight trading sessions; uncertainty remains over the next U.S. coronavirus stimulus package; California Sen. Kamala Harris is chosen as Joe Biden's running mate; Tesla splits its stock five-for-one.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Aug. 12:

1. -- Stock Futures Point to a Wall Street Rebound

Stock futures were rising Wednesday after the S&P 500 posted its first decline in eight trading sessions amid uncertainty over the next U.S. coronavirus stimulus package.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 249 points, S&P 500 futures were up 24 points and Nasdaq futures rose 100 points.

The S&P 500 had traded higher for most of Tuesday's session and approached an all-time record but turned lower following a slide in technology stocks. The index declined 0.8% to close at 3,333 on Tuesday. The Dow fell 0.38% to 27,686 and the Nasdaq slumped 1.69%.

Though futures were indicating U.S. stocks would open higher Wednesday, a stalemate in Washington on more coronavirus aid was weighing on sentiment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called for a restart of negotiations between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats, saying it was "time for everybody to get back to the table" to discuss a fifth coronavirus aid package.

He told Fox News that the "stalemate needs to be ended. It doesn't make any difference who says let's get together again, but we ought to get together again."

“When you walk back the market’s expectations of an imminent fiscal deal, it is like poking the balloon with a straight pin as all semblance of near-term optimism gets immediately deflated,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp. 

Meanwhile, U.S. and Chinese trade representatives are set to discuss aspects of the phase one trade deal in the coming days, according to reports.

2. -- Kamala Harris Is Joe Biden's Choice for Vice President

California Sen. Kamala Harris was chosen as Joe Biden's running mate. She is the first Black woman nominated for vice president by a major party.

Biden's campaign announced the pick in a series of tweets, hailing Harris, the 55-year-old daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, as a "fearless fighter for the little guy and one of the country's finest public servants." 

Harris is an attorney and junior senator from California, having been elected in November 2016. Earlier in her career, she served as district attorney of San Francisco. She was then elected as California's attorney general, focusing on the state's foreclosure crisis and other issues, and served two terms in that position before running for her Senate seat. 

Kamala Harris Lead

Kamala Harris

Harris also was one of numerous Democrats who ran in the presidential primary this cycle. She left the race in early December.

3. -- Tesla Jumps on 5-for-1 Stock Split

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report was rising 5.87% to $1,455 in premarket trading Wednesday after the electric carmaker said it would split its stock five-for-one.

Each shareholder of record on Aug. 21 will receive a dividend of four additional shares of common stock for each share, Tesla said. Trading will begin on a stock split-adjusted basis on Aug. 31.

Tesla Announces 5-for-1 Stock Split

Tesla said it was splitting the stock to "make stock ownership more accessible to employees and investors." 

Tesla shares have more than tripled year to date, despite the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on its factory operations earlier this year and on consumer demand for luxury vehicles. 

“At a time where the appetite for the stock and overall EV story continues to gain momentum, I think it’s a smart move,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush.

Tesla is the second high-profile company to announce a stock split in recent weeks, with Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report announcing a 4-for-1 split of shares on July 30.

4. -- Moderna Gets $1.525B Award for 100 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report has won an award of up to $1.525 billion from the U.S. government for 100 million doses of its as-yet-unapproved mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The contract includes incentive payments for timely delivery of the vaccine. The mRNA-1273 vaccine entered Phase 3 trials on July 27.

Shares of Moderna rose 9% in premarket trading Wednesday to $75.18.

Under the agreement, the government will have an option to acquire 400 million additional doses. The deal follows an early development grant this year for $955 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the Department of Health and Human Services.

5. -- Cisco and Lyft Report Earnings

Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from Cisco Systems  (CSCO) - Get Report, Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Report, SmileDirectClub  (SDC) - Get Report, Brinker International  (EAT) - Get Report and Performance Food Group  (PFGC) - Get Report.

The economic calendar Wednesday includes mortgage applications for the week ended Aug. 7 from the Mortgage Bankers' Association at 7 a.m. ET, the Consumer Price Index for July at 8:30 a.m. and Oil Inventories for the week ended Aug. 7 at 10:30 a.m.