Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Aug. 19:
1. -- Stock Futures Edge Higher After S&P 500 Sets Record
Stock futures were mostly higher Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 clawed back the last of its coronavirus pandemic losses to close at a record high.
The broad stock market index gained 0.23% on Tuesday to close at 3,389, breaking its pre-pandemic record set on Feb. 19. The Nasdaq also set an all-time closing high.
The S&P 500 has rallied 51.5% since March as aid from the Federal Reserve and economic stimulus from Congress fueled the remarkable rebound.
"Even the most optimistic people in March were unlikely to have expected the market to recoup all of its losses in less than five months, however, the massive amounts of liquidity that the Federal Reserve has injected into the system is as big reason for the stunning recovery that we have just witnessed," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte.
Zaccarelli said the stock market still faces "numerous headwinds" such as a potential second wave of coronavirus infections but "what is rarely talked about are all of the factors which could drive the market higher, such as: another government stimulus package, trillions of dollars in infrastructure spending in 2021 and beyond, low interest rates for an extended period of time and continued Federal Reserve quantitative easing.
S&P 500 futures rose 3 points on Wednesday, contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 41 points and Nasdaq futures were slipped 10 points.
2. -- Target, TJX, Lowe's and Nvidia Report Earnings
Target (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report posted much stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings as digital sales rose nearly 200% from last year as shoppers flocked to the few stores that remained opened throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Target said comparable-store sales growth of 24.3% in the second quarter was the strongest it has ever reported.
Same-store sales jumped 34.2%, well above forecasts of 16.3%, and U.S. same-store sales soared 35.1%.
Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from TJX Cos. (TJX) - Get TJX Companies Inc Report, Nvidia (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report, Analog Devices (ADI) - Get Analog Devices, Inc. Report and L Brands (LB) - Get L Brands, Inc. (LB) Report.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes MBA Mortgage Applications for the week ended Aug. 14 at 7 a.m. ET, Oil Inventories for the week ended Aug. 14, and minutes of the Federal Reserve's July 28-29 meeting at 2 p.m.
3. -- Democrats Name Joe Biden Their Presidential Nominee
Joe Biden was formally nominated by Democrats as their 2020 presidential nominee on Tuesday night, cementing him as their candidate to take on President Donald Trump in November.
Biden, who served as vice president under Barack Obama for eight years, received the 2,374 delegate votes necessary for the nomination at the party's virtual convention, made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Well, thank you very very much from the bottom of my heart,” Biden said. “Thank you all. It means the world to me and my family. And I’ll see you on Thursday. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Biden will give his acceptance speech on Thursday.
Obama, who will speak Wednesday night, congratulated Biden in a tweet.
4. -- Regeneron Partners With Roche to Make Covid-19 Drug
If it is approved, the treatment would be distributed by Regeneron in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world by Roche.
Supplies of REGN-COV2 could more than triple under the agreement, the companies said in a statement Wednesday.
REGN-COV2 is currently being studied in two Phase 2/3 clinical trials for the treatment of Covid-19 and in a Phase 3 trial for the prevention of the disease in people living in a house with infected individuals.
Renegeron Pharmaceuticals shares were rising Wednesday in premarket trading, up 1.44% to $627.50.
5. -- Sorrento Sinks After Terminating Financial Chief
Shares of Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) - Get Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. Report, one of the companies developing therapies for the treatment of Covid-19, sunk sharply in premarket trading Wednesday after terminating its chief financial officer.
Jiong Shao's employment, Sorrento said in a statement, was "terminated in its entirety, effectively immediately." The company appointed Najjam Asghar as its new financial chief.
The stock fell 11.64% to $10.85 in premarket trading. It has jumped more than 260% so far in 2020, getting a boost after releasing positive results of a preclinical experiment of its Covid-19 virus antibody.