U.S. stock futures sharply lower, Palantir IPO, Novavax, and more


Stocks set to start Tuesday in the red

U.S. stock futures were trading sharply lower on Wednesday as growing COVID-19 pandemic dashed hopes of a global economic recovery, despite huge gains in the tech sector during the previous session that propelled the Nasdaq composite to an all-time closing high.

By 5:40 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 270 points, or 1.03% to 25,909. S&P 500 futures 27.12 points, or 0.85% to 3,144.88 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures 45.25 points, or 0.43% to 10,553.25.

There are now more than 130,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Infections have risen in many states and regions over the past two weeks, with Florida, Idaho and U.S. Virgin Islands leading the way.

The dramatic rise in new infections has prompted some states, including Florida and California, to reimpose restrictions.

Novavax rockets after receiving $1.6 billion in funding from Operation Warp Speed

Shares in Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) are surging after the biotechnology company received a contract worth $1.6 billion from President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

Novavax said on Tuesday morning that the funds cover testing, commercialization and manufacturing of a potential coronavirus vaccine in the U.S., with the aim of distributing 100 million doses in late 2020 and early 2021.

As of this writing, Novavax stock was up $29.56, or 37.21% to $109 a share in Tuesday’s premarket trading session.

Data integration platform Palantir files confidentially for IPO

Palantir has submitted confidential documents to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering, the company confirmed in a press release Monday.

The data analytics company added that the listing is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process. However, it did not disclose the size of the offering in the press release.

Palantir was founded by billionaire Peter Thiel in 2004 and offers software that allows organizations integrate their data, their operations and their decisions into one platform.

Last month, Reuters had reported that the company was aiming to file confidentially with the SEC to go public, which could be as soon as September, but the timetable is subject to market conditions and change. It is still weighing whether to go public through a direct listing or a traditional IPO.