Lennar Stock Pops as Hope on Stimulus, Moderna Vaccine, Lifts the Dow

Stocks are rising as investors await the passage of a fiscal stimulus bill and approval for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 98 points, or 0.3%. Futures on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were both 0.5% higher.

Congressional leaders in both major parties say they are close to completing a deal on a $908 billion fiscal stimulus package. That would get cash into the hands of small businesses and households in order to tide them over until vaccines become widely available, eliminating the needs for lockdowns and other measures that have hurt the economy.

Meanwhile, Moderna’s (ticker: MRNA) vaccine is expected to get the all-clear from a panel of medical experts the Food and Drug Administration is working with. That would allow the FDA to give the vaccine an emergency-use authorization. Investors are expecting billions of doses of vaccines to be distributed throughout the next year.

Investors are also digesting news Wednesday from the Federal Reserve, which said it will neither increase nor reduce the size of its asset-purchasing program and will continue to watch the economy. Some market participants had hoped the central bank would disclose plans to purchase more longer-dated bonds as part of its program, but no such move was made.

Accenture (ACN) shares rose 7% after the company beat revenue and earnings-per-share estimates. EPS came in at $2.17 versus estimates of $2.05. Revenue was $11.7 billion, while analysts expected $11.3 billion.

Lennar (LEN) was up 3% after the company beat on both top and bottom lines. EPS totaled $2.82, beating expectations of $2.36. Revenue was $6.8 billion against estimates of $6.6 billion.

Raytheon Technologies (RTX) was up 1% after DZ Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold.

Restaurant Brands International (QSR) gained 1% after Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equalweight and raised its price target to $74 from $60.

United Rentals (URI) fell 0.9%. Citigroup downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy and lowered its target for the stock price target to $185 from $255.

Write to Jacob Sonenshine at jacob.sonenshine@barrons.com