5 things to know before the stock market opens Wednesday

Dow and Nasdaq futures pointed to gains at Wednesday's open, and tech stocks bounced after two rough days. The Nasdaq closed in the red again Tuesday, down nearly 3% this week, in a rotation out of stay-at-home stocks after Pfizer's positive Covid-19 vaccine data Monday raised hopes that life may soon be able to return to some semblance of normal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been a beneficiary of renewed interest in value stocks in the past two sessions, with a 262 point gain Tuesday and an 834 point rise Monday, equal to an almost 4% advance this week on top of last week's rally.

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As of Tuesday's close, the Dow was only 131 points from its February record high close. The Nasdaq, while 4% away from its record close, has hit multiple new highs since February, with the most recent record close in the beginning of September. The U.S. bond market is closed Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day.

2. Trump is defiant; Biden works on transition

As he continues to defiantly reject his election defeat, President Donald Trump is expected to visit Arlington National Cemetery for Veterans Day for his first public appearance since Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner Saturday. As the president pursues legal challenges and continues to tweet unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, the White House has stymied Biden's access to security briefings and transition funding. In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday predicted a smooth transition to a second Trump term.

While calling Trump's refusal to concede "an embarrassment," President-elect Biden said Tuesday his transition is "well under way." Biden also said "nothing's going to stop" his work on putting together his administration and reviewing candidates for Cabinet positions. He said he's not reliant on the federal government authorizing funding for the transition or on having access to federal agencies. Biden said it would be "useful" to get full presidential daily briefings typically given to presidents-elect, but he added he would not be able to act on any national security issues until he's sworn in.

3. GOP keeps key North Carolina Senate seat

In the balance of power race in the Senate, Democrat Cal Cunningham conceded Tuesday to Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., one of the last undecided contests. Keeping that seat put the Senate count at 49 Republicans and 48 Democrats, according to NBC News. Three races are not settled, including two in Georgia that are headed for Jan. 5 run-offs. The other Senate race that has not been called by NBC News is in Alaska, where incumbent Republican Dan Sullivan has a wide lead with 75% of the expected vote in.

Democrats will keep control of the House, according to NBC News, which puts the count at 225 Democrats and 210 Republicans. That would be a net-loss of seven seats for the Democrats but still over the 218-seat threshold needed to keep their majority.

4. Russia touts Covid vaccine as global cases spike

Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund said Wednesday that early results from its phase three clinical trial of the "Sputnik V" vaccine showed 92% efficacy. RDIF said it will publish the interim trial data in a peer-reviewed medical journal but has yet to reveal when. Russia, with 1.8 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, has seen a spike in new infections.

The U.S., which has over 8.6 million cumulative cases, saw the eighth straight day of new daily Covid-19 infections in excess of 100,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. On Tuesday, a daily record of 136,325 new infections were reported. Texas has become the first U.S. state with total coronavirus cases over 1 million, with California and Florida not too far behind. As of Tuesday nationwide, a record 61,964 people were hospitalized with coronavirus, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

5. Alibaba sinks on proposed regulations despite Singles Day record

Alibaba shares that trade Hong Kong dropped nearly 10% after the Chinese government proposed new antitrust regulations, covering areas including pricing, payment methods and use of data to target shoppers. Alibaba's U.S.-listed shares closed down nearly 8.3%, wiping off over $60 billion of value in a day. The stock, along with other Chinese tech stocks, was down less than 1% in Wednesday's U.S. premarket trading, despite the Chinese e-commerce giant reporting record Singles Day sales. The annual shopping event in China, which typically lasts 24 hours, started Nov. 1 and runs through midnight China time.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.

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