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Wednesday’s Pre-Market: Here’s What You Need To Know Before The Market Opens

U.S. stock futures slipped in pre-market trading on Wednesday after starting off the month of December on a high note. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a loss of over 100 points at the opening bell. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures traded in negative territory.  

Pfizer and BioNTech shares surged over 4% and 7%, respectively, in pre-market trading on Wednesday after the companies announced that the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2. This marks the first emergency use approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, with the healthcare companies anticipating additional regulatory decisions this month. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla commented, “Today’s Emergency Use Authorization in the UK marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19. This authorization is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the UK.” 

Meanwhile, shares of Nio fell 10.2% on Tuesday even as the company posted strong November delivery numbers and Goldman Sachs upgraded the rating to Hold from Sell. In November, the electric car maker delivered 5,291 vehicles, reflecting a 109.3% year-over-year increase. Overall, the company has delivered 36,721 vehicles in 2020. Explaining the rating boost, Goldman Sachs’ Fei Fang noted, “In hindsight, we underestimated the benefits to Nio from: (1) powertrain breakthroughs, particularly with the cell-to-pack/blade large cell technologies; (2) the introduction of Nio’s battery as a service (BaaS) program, which has significantly expanded Nio’s addressable market; and (3) regulatory incentives that turned around EV market demand from an ongoing decline.” 

Salesforce.com will acquire business communications platform Slack Technologies for $27.7 billion in cash and stock. In response, Salesforce shares took a 4.8% tumble in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Per the deal’s terms, Slack shareholders will receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share, with the acquisition expected to be finalized by the end of July 2021. This reflects an enterprise value of roughly $27.7 billion, based on the closing price of Salesforce’s common stock on November 30. “Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world,” Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff stated. 

In other market news, BlackBerry revealed that it will partner with Amazon to develop a cloud-based vehicle data platform, with shares of the Canadian software company popping 5.7% in Tuesday’s after-hours trading after closing 19% higher on the day. As per the terms of the multi-year agreement, BlackBerry and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will jointly develop and market its intelligent vehicle data (IVY) platform. IVY is a cloud-connected software platform, designed to provide automakers with a secure way to read vehicle sensor data and create actionable insights from that data both locally in the vehicle and in the cloud.  

Shares of Kohl’s rallied 13.4% on Tuesday after the department store chain revealed a long-term strategic partnership with Sephora to open “Sephora at Kohl’s” locations within the company’s stores. The 2,500 square foot Sephora in-stores will initially open within 200 Kohl’s locations in fall 2021 and then expand to at least 850 stores by 2023. Kohl’s will also offer Sephora’s prestige beauty products on its website in 2021, with the Sephora at Kohl’s stores replacing Kohl’s existing in-store beauty assortment.  

Lightspeed, a cloud-based provider of omnichannel commerce platforms, has purchased Upserve, a restaurant management cloud-software company, for $430 million, with a combination of $123 million in net cash and up to 5,895,365 subordinate voting shares of Lightspeed. In reaction to the news, Lightspeed shares jumped 4.2% in extended trading on Tuesday. According to Lightspeed management, the acquisition will expand its position in the U.S. hospitality market by an additional 7,000 customer locations, generating over $6 billion in Gross Transaction Volume (GTV) in the trailing 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2020. “We believe this acquisition will accelerate the product innovation that has enabled Lightspeed customers to tackle the greatest challenge to their industry in decades and will add exceptional leadership to our teams in anticipation of the economic recovery of the global hospitality industry,” Lightspeed CEO Dax Dasilva explained.  

After announcing a deal to buy Balto Sports, which develops tools for fantasy sports games, shares of fuboTV jumped 12.2% in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Although the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, fuboTV said the deal marks its foray into the world of online sports betting. Additionally, according to management, fuboTV will “leverage its own proprietary technology along with Balto’s contest automation software to launch a free to play gaming offering.”