U.S. stock futures tied to all three major indexes rose in the premarket trading Wednesday. At 2:18 p.m. ET, S&P 500 Index advanced 0.16 percent to 3,733.03, Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.28 percent to 30,419.75, and Nasdaq jumped 0.27 percent to 12,885.38. U.S. stocks were trading higher yesterday but suddenly slipped later in the day when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to the revised stimulus payments proposed by President Donald Trump on Monday.
McConnell blocked the increase in stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. However, he still has a choice to decide about the revised amount later. Trump previously criticized the $600 payment, saying the amount is low for U.S. citizens who need extra money for buying groceries and paying rent.
In major news stories, the U.S. trade deficit in goods increased 5.5 percent to $84.8 billion in November, as compared to $80.4 billion in October, as the pandemic weighed on the overall exports. Meanwhile, Bitcoin climbed over $28000 on Wednesday, and it is on track for the biggest monthly surge in more than a year. Its price has surged over 40 percent in the current month.
The confirmed coronavirus cases in the world surpassed 82 million and the casualties from the deal virus crossed 1.79 million, as of Wednesday. The numbers were reported by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. is the hardest-hit country from the pandemic, with over 19.5 million positive cases and a death toll of 338,656 and counting. More than 200,902 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, with a death toll of 3,626, according to the New York Times. Congressman-elect Luke Letlow also lost his life on Tuesday, just a few days after getting infected with the virus. He was 41 years old and the news came as a shock to many.
The U.K. government has approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca (AZN) and the University of Oxford. The home-developed vaccine will be easy to ship and store for the health authorities in the country. The U.K. has now enough doses to vaccinate the majority of its population, according to health secretary Matt Hancock. However, a recently discovered new strain of the coronavirus has further deteriorated the situation. The authorities are planning to impose more restrictions to limit the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, the dollar fell to new 52-week lows against several currencies on Wednesday, while gold prices moved up, with U.S. gold futures rising more than 0.6 percent today. Moreover, U.S crude oil futures also rose about 0.7 percent earlier today.
Among the major U.S. stocks, Tesla (TSLA) stock rose nearly 2 percent, while shares of Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), and Alphabet (GOOGL) were marginally down this morning.
Here are today's 10 notable market movers:
10. AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN)
AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN) shares inched higher this morning after the U.K health authorities approved its Covid-19 vaccine, marking the first approval from any country. The government initially plans to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable to the virus, with shots beginning next Monday. AstraZeneca stock value has increased over 290 percent in 2020, with most of the surge associated with its Covid-19 vaccine development.
9. Codexis Inc. (NASDAQ:CDXS)
Codexis Inc. (NASDAQ:CDXS) shares are trading 3.3% higher in the current trading session after receiving a price target hike from Benchmark. The research firm lifted the price target for CDXS stock from $21 per share to $29 per share, while maintaining a “Buy” rating for the protein engineering company.
8. Acadia Healthcare Company Inc (NASDAQ:ACHC)
Acadia Healthcare Company Inc (NASDAQ:ACHC) shares hit a new 52-week high of $50.98 this morning after the company announced that it has inked a deal to sell its UK-based operations to Waterland Private Equity for nearly $1.47 billion. ACHC intends to use the proceeds from the deal to reduce debt and other general business purposes. The two parties expect the transaction to close next month.
7. WiMi Hologram Cloud Inc. (NASDAQ:WIMI)
WiMi Hologram Cloud Inc. (NASDAQ:WIMI) shares rose nearly 3 percent today after Benchmark analyst Fawne Jiang started coverage on the stock. Jiang issued a “Buy” rating for WIMI with a price target of $8 per share, as compared to the current trading price of around $5.8 per share. WIMI is a provider of holographic services and products based on augmented reality (AR).
6. Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ:SNDL)
Sundial Growers Inc. (NASDAQ:SNDL) shares slightly moved up this morning after the Canadian cannabis company announced that it has closed the acquisition of a special purpose vehicle in a cash deal valued at $46 million. SNDL stock did not perform well in 2020. The stock lost more than 80 percent of its value on a year-to-date basis.
5. Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA)
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares rose nearly 3 percent in the mid-day trading Wednesday after Wedbush analyst Dan Ives stated in a note that the San Carlos, California-based electric vehicle manufacturer could accomplish its target of 500,000 deliveries for the current fiscal year. Strong demand in China along with the higher demand in Europe and the U.S. in the second half of 2020 will help TSLA achieve its vehicle-deliveries goal, according to Ives. TSLA did exceptionally well this year. Its share price skyrocketed more than 700 percent in 2020.
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4. Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ:MARA)
Marathon Patent Group Inc. (NASDAQ:MARA) shares rose more than 5 percent on Wednesday morning. This is the second time the stock has moved up this week. MARA is one of the largest enterprise bitcoin mining companies. It recently announced that an agreement to buy 70,000 Antminer S-19 ASIC miners from Bitmain in a transaction valued at $170 million. Moreover, today’s surge also follows the record trading price of Bitcoin, which crossed $28,000 today.
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3. Fubotv Inc. (NYSE:FUBO)
Fubotv Inc. (NYSE:FUBO) shares are down for the fifth consecutive trading session. The stock has lost more than 35 percent of its value since December 22, after LightShed Partners analysts set a price target of $8 per share for FUBO stock. LightShed Partners analyst Rich Greenfield said in a statement, “FUBO may be the most compelling short we have ever identified in our career as analysts." On the other hand, Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin remains bullish on the stock. Last week, Martin lifted her price target for FUBO to $60 per share.
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2. Osmotica Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ:OSMT)
Osmotica Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ:OSMT) shares plummeted more than 22 percent in the mid-day trading Wednesday after the FDA responded to its new drug application for a drug candidate to treat spasticity. FDA stated in its response, “The Company did not provide adequate justification (including in its most recent NDA amendment) for the statistical analysis of the change from baseline to Day 84 in TNmAS-MAL scores comparing arbaclofen 40 mg to placebo, one of the co-primary endpoints.”
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1. Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ:NETE)
Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ:NETE) shares skyrocketed more than 35 percent this morning after Mullen Technologies announced on Wednesday that it has received an offer for the purchase of about 10,000 of its MX-05 electric vehicles. If it agrees to the order, it will have to initially deliver 1,500 EVs with nearly 8,500 through the next five years. For those of you thinking what Net Element stock price hike has to do with Mullen Technologies? The two companies are currently moving forward with their merger plan.
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Disclosure: No positions. Wednesday’s 10 Notable Stocks in Focus is originally published at Insider Monkey.