Doubts Surrounding U.S. AstraZeneca Vaccine Trials Weigh On Market Sentiment

March 23, 2021 10:30 AM
Dr. Fauci: “this [AstraZeneca vaccine] is likely a good a very good vaccine, and the press release was not quite accurate”
Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen defend their calls for unprecedented stimulus measures while discussing the state of the U.S. economy
A number of Fed officials are on deck to speak today
Stock Market Update for Traders

Stock Market Update for Traders

Monday's Close

E-mini S&P 500 Futures (June): Settled at 3930, up 30.25

E-mini Nasdaq-100 Futures (June): Settled at 13,071.75, up 227.25

U.S. benchmarks fought waves of selling ahead of the bell. Price action has trickled lower since the S&P failed to hold above major 3-star resistance going into the final hour of trade yesterday. News that AstraZeneca’s vaccine proved 79% effective buoyed sentiment for much of the session despite fresh lockdown measures imposed across Europe. Today, that narrative has flipped. 

Late last night, a U.S. health agency questioned the validity of AstraZeneca’s vaccine trials, saying the results included outdated data. To make matters worse, Germany followed through and announced a strict 5-day lockdown over Easter. Risk assets tumbled overnight with Crude Oil leading the way. 

This morning, Dr. Fauci, who also heads the U.S. agency that made the statement, joined Good Morning American and said, “this [AstraZeneca vaccine] is likely a good a very good vaccine, and the press release was not quite accurate.” Although U.S. benchmarks are off session lows, sentiment hasn’t bought the comments.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are front and center today as they began their 2-day Congressional testimony at 9:00 a.m. CT. Here, they’ll defend their calls for unprecedented stimulus measures while discussing the state of the U.S. economy. The yield of the 10-year Note has touched a 4-day low of 1.626% amid safe haven buying and a consolidation from oversold prices. 

Theirs won’t be the only comments to pay attention to as Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, a 2020 voter, spoke at 8:00 a.m. CT along with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. Bostic spoke again at 9:10 a.m. CT and Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin, a 2020 voter, spoke at 10:00 a.m. CT. NY Fed President John Williams speaks at 1:45 p.m. CT and Fed Governor Lael Brainard follows with a speech on the U.S. Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy at 2:45 p.m. CT.

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