Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:
AstraZeneca (AZN) – The White House is considering fast-tracking the Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, according to the Financial Times. The paper said one option being considered is having the Food and Drug Administration give the potential vaccine treatment emergency use authorization.
Pearson (PSO) – Pearson appointed former Walt Disney (DIS) executive Andy Bird as its next chief executive officer. Bird, who will take the top job at the education publisher Oct. 19, was chairman at Walt Disney International until 2018 and helped build the company’s consumer digital business.
Blackstone (BX) – The private-equity firm struck a deal to buy the consumer health-care business of Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical for about $2.3 billion. It had been reported last week that the two companies were close to a deal.
American Airlines (AAL) – The airline will receive Environmental Protection Agency approval today to use a new surface coating that kills the coronavirus, according to a Reuters report. EPA officials told Reuters the coating inactivates viruses and bacteria within two hours and is effective for up to seven days.
Microsoft (MSFT) – Microsoft said in a court filing that Apple’s (AAPL) actions against Fortnite creator Epic Games will hurt the entire videogame industry. Apple removed Epic’s games from its app store for violating its payment rules.
Facebook (FB) – Facebook Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio will leave the social media giant on Sept. 18, according to a Facebook spokesman quoted by The Wall Street Journal. Lucio had joined Facebook from HP Inc. (HPQ) in 2018.
Michaels Cos. (MIK) – The arts and crafts retailer hired Michael Diamond as its new chief financial officer, effective Sept. 1. Diamond had most recently been an executive at restaurant operator Yum Brands (YUM), where he had been CFO for Pizza Hut’s U.S. business.
Moderna (MRNA) – Moderna said enrollment levels for its late-stage 30,000 patient Covid-19 vaccine trial have passed the 40% mark. The drugmaker began the study last month and expects to complete enrollment in September.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) – Delta will reinstate 50 international flights to its schedule this winter. Those flights, which include routes from Seattle to Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai, had been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apple (AAPL) – Today is the “record date” for Apple’s recently announced 4-for-1 stock split, applying to shareholders of record as of the close of business today. The shares are set to begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on Aug. 31.
Pinterest (PINS) – The image-sharing platform was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Citi, part of a report on social media companies that maintains a rating of “neutral” on Twitter (TWTR) and “sell” on Snap (SNAP). Citi feels topline growth expectations for social media companies are too lofty.
Deere (DE) – Bank of America Securities upgraded the heavy equipment maker to “buy” from “neutral,” after Deere reported a blowout quarter and raised earnings estimates. The firm said Deere’s earnings momentum is clearly building into next year, boosted in part by improved margins in its agriculture business.