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5 things to know before the market opens on Thursday

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Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:

1. With stocks on the rise after Dow, the S&P 500 had the best month since November

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: UKTN

US equity futures started rising in April after the S&P 500 closed its best month since November with a gain of 4.2%. The index hit an all-time intraday high on Wednesday but failed to close at a record high.

The Dow Jones, which closed at a record high on Monday, experienced its second consecutive modest decline on Wednesday. But the average of 30 stocks, like the S&P 500, had its best month since November, posting a 6.6% gain in March. For the first quarter, the blue chip Dow Jones and the S&P 500 rose 7.8% and 5.8%, respectively, for their fourth consecutive positive quarter.

The Nasdaq broke a two-game losing streak with a 1.5% gain on Wednesday. The high-tech Nasdaq has been the underperformance recently as tech stocks are particularly sensitive to rising market interest rates as they depend on low-cost borrowing to invest in future growth. For the month of March, the index rose only 0.4%. For the quarter, it gained 2.8%.

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2. 10-year Treasury yield drops below 1.7% after data on jobless claims

A woman walks into a store on February 22, 2021 in New York City.

John Smith | Corbis News | Getty Images

The previous week was revised down to 658,000 initial jobless claims, the lowest level in over a year. The Ministry of Labor is expected to release its monthly employment report on Friday despite the stock market closing on Good Friday.

3. Pfizer Covid vaccine 91% effective in updated trial data

A person walks past the Pfizer building in New York City on March 2, 2021.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Pfizer and BioNTech said on Thursday that their two-dose Covid vaccine was around 91% effective, citing updated test data, which included people vaccinated for up to six months. The vaccine was also 100% effective in trial participants in South Africa, where a new variant is dominant. However, the number of these South African participants was relatively small at 800.

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While the new overall efficacy rate is lower than the 95% initially reported in November, a number of variants have become more prevalent around the world since then. Shares of Pfizer and BioNTech were up in the pre-market.

4.UKTN: The company at the center of J&J’s Covid vaccine woes has a series of quotes

Shares of Emerg BioSolutions, the company at the center of the problems that led Johnson & Johnson to throw away an unknown amount of its Covid vaccine, fell 7% on Thursday before it went to market. According to documents obtained by the UK Time News through the Freedom of Information Act, Emergent has received a series of citations from US health officials for quality control concerns. The records cover inspections at Emergent facilities since 2017.

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While it is not known how many doses were destroyed, J&J said on Wednesday that it still plans to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine in a single injection by the end of June. J&J shares fell in pre-market trading.

5. After the infrastructure announcement, Biden will hold the first Cabinet meeting

President Joe Biden is scheduled to hold his first Cabinet meeting on Thursday. The time has come a week after Biden’s full Cabinet was confirmed and a day after the president released his long-awaited infrastructure package, which would spend around $ 2 trillion over eight years. An increase in the US business tax rate to 28% would pay for the sprawling plan.

Biden said he would unveil Part 2 of his recovery program “in a few weeks.” Wednesday’s announcements kicked off Biden’s second major move after the adoption and signing of a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan earlier this month.

– The UK Time News and Reuters contributed to this report. Get the latest pandemic news with UKTN Coronavirus Blog.

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