Wall Street rises at open on M&A activity, vaccine hopes

Wall St. reports second straight weekly slump as tech bloodshed continues

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US stock index futures climbed on Monday on signs of progress in COVID-19 vaccine development and a flurry of multi-billion dollar deals, including a report of Oracle winning the battle for the USA arm of TikTok.

The tech index added 2.4 per cent, more than any other major S&P sector.

Nvidia Corp jumped 9.0 per cent on plans to buy UK-based chip designer Arm from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp for as much as $US40 billion ($A55 billion), in a deal set to reshape the global semiconductor landscape.

Microsoft Corp erased pre-market losses to rise 1.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, addressing to an overvaluation of the tech stocks, a Chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York, Tim Ghriskey said, "While growth isn't cheap, it is growth and a lot of these companies are doing well during the pandemic so I wouldn't be surprised to see money coming back to them".

"That's why these deals are exciting, because if you put two companies together, by definition, you're going to have..."

The US stocks closed mostly higher on Friday, 11 September 2020, with Dow and S&P500 indexes recovering a portion of Thursday's market sell-off, as investors chased for bottom fishing on heavily battered stocks.

Apple shares slid 1.31 per cent.

Sentiment also got a boost as AstraZeneca resumed phase three trials for its coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom following a halt for safety concerns.

As of midnight Eastern, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up around 300 points, or 1%, while S&P 500 futures gained 1.2% and Nasdaq-100 futures surged 1.5%.

Pfizer Inc gained 1.1% after the drugmaker and German biotech firm BioNTech SE proposed to expand their Phase 3 pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to about 44,000 participants. And the stock of Immunomedics more than doubled after the cancer drug specialist agreed to be acquired by Gilead Sciences in a $21 billion deal.

Later this week, investors will focus on the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting before the November 3 US presidential elections.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.05-to-1 ratio; on the NASDAQ, a 1.41-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both hit all-time highs on Monday amid hopes of progress on finding an effective response to the coronavirus.

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