Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Dow headed for steady open after Capitol Hill finally delivers on stimulus
- Here's what in the $900 billion Covid relief measure
- U.S. plans to study allergic reactions from Pfizer's Covid vaccine
- BioNTech believes its vaccine with Pfizer works on new strain
- Peloton soars on deal to buy fitness equipment maker Precor
1. Dow headed for steady open after Capitol Hill finally delivers on stimulus
U.S. stock futures were modestly higher Tuesday, the morning after Congress passed a combined $900 billion in coronavirus relief and a $1.4 trillion government funding package. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday erased a 400-point drop on worries about a new Covid strain and eked out a small gain as strong earnings pushed Nike up almost 5% to hit a record high. Apple, another Dow-30 stock, was also higher Monday and added to those gains in Tuesday's premarket on reports that the company is targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology.
2. Here's what in the $900 billion Covid relief measure
Both chambers of Congress also passed a seven-day stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government open during the time it takes Trump to sign the stimulus and funding package.
- The pandemic aid, which had been stalled for months and months, includes a $300-per-week federal unemployment supplement through mid-March and $600 in direct payments to most Americans.
- It puts $284 billion into Paycheck Protection Program small business loans, while providing funds for Covid testing, contact tracing and vaccine distribution.
- The measure extends the federal eviction moratorium through Jan. 31, funding $25 billion in rental assistance.
- It also provides $15 billion in payroll support for U.S. airlines if they call back employees who were furloughed this fall and keep employees on payrolls through the end of March.
3. U.S. plans to study allergic reactions from Pfizer's vaccine
The U.S. is looking into why a handful of people have suffered severe allergic reactions shortly after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines, a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases official told CNBC on Monday. The study, in the early planning phases, is expected to include several hundred people who have a history of severe allergic reactions.
It comes as the government began distributing Pfizer's vaccine last week and Moderna's this week. Both vaccines, approved by the FDA for emergency use, employ a new approach to inoculations using genetic material to provoke an immune response. Dr. Anthony Fauci gets his first shot of Moderna's vaccine Tuesday, a day after President-elect Joe Biden got the Pfizer shot.
4. BioNTech believes its vaccine with Pfizer works on new strain
BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said Tuesday he's confident the vaccine that the German company developed with U.S.-based Pfizer works on a new highly contagious coronavirus strain primarily found in the U.K. While there's no indication the variant causes more serious illness, a number of countries in Europe and beyond have restricted travel from the U.K.
As nations start Covid vaccinations, total deaths from the virus topped 1.7 million on more than 77.4 million cases. In the U.S., which has had the most infections, cumulative cases exceeded 18 million as fatalities approached 320,000. As of Monday, the seven-day average of daily new U.S. deaths was 2,655 and there were a record 115,351 people hospitalized with Covid.
5. Peloton soars on deal to buy fitness equipment maker Precor
Shares of Peloton, which have surged more than 400% this year in the stay-at-home economy, jumped 11% in Tuesday's premarket trading. The maker of high-end interactive cycles and treadmills announced late Monday plans to buy exercise equipment manufacturer Precor for $420 million. The acquisition will help Peloton speed up production and meet its promised delivery windows. The deal, expected to close early next year, also boosts Peloton's product development efforts by adding nearly 100 research-and-development employees from Precor to its staff.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real time with CNBC Pro's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.