Tech Stocks Bounce Back, Microsoft’s Gaming Console

One of the leaders in the efforts to develop a vaccine to combat the global pandemic hit pause on its late-stage clinical trials after a suspected adverse reaction in one of the patients.

AstraZeneca (ticker: AZN), which has teamed with the University of Oxford to develop a vaccine, has put a temporary “hold” on trials as it evaluates the safety of its current candidate.

In market news, stocks bounced back with a fervor after a multiday sell-off led by “Big Tech” names that have broadly defined 2020’s post-March rally. A day after shedding 4%, the Nasdaq rose 2.7%, and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 439 points, or 1.6%, to finish at 27,940.

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Microsoft’s new console. Software giant Microsoft ( MSFT), one of tech’s big winners today with gains of 4.2%, announced details about its highly anticipated next-generation gaming console, available Nov. 10.

The Redmond, Washington-based tech mainstay will release a flagship Xbox Series X console retailing for $499, and a lower-tier model called the Xbox Series S for $299. Not one to miss out on recurring subscription revenue, financing is also available for both devices on 24-month terms: the Series X will run $34.99 per month and the Series S will go for $24.99 monthly.

Both packages include a Xbox Game Pass subscription, giving access to more than 100 games. And if you don’t finance, you’ll have to pay $9.99 a month for that luxury. There’s a reason this company is worth $1.6 trillion.

Wally World Drones. Big-box retailer Walmart ( WMT) seems to be on a mission to redefine itself in 2020, and it’s certainly sticking with that theme this week, announcing the start of a test drone delivery program.

The small roll out in Fayetteville, North Carolina will test the delivery of groceries and household items, following rival ( AMZN) into a futuristic space that still has regulatory and business model hurdles to clear.

Other unexpected moves by Walmart this year include its interest in buying social media video giant TikTok with Microsoft, and the launch of a membership service, Walmart+, slated to launch on Sept. 15. Walmart’s stock price ended up 1% on the day.

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