Tech, Once Again, Brings Lone Bright Spot to Gloomy Wall Street

Investors were not overly wowed by data showing another Covid-19 vaccine has promise, as only another sharp rise in tech stocks stood out on a sleepy Monday on Wall Street. 

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

MANHATTAN (CN) — Markets gained some steam late in the day but mostly remained flat in a rather uneventful Monday. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed just 8 points up for the day, while the S&P 500 increased by less than 1%. The Nasdaq was once again propelled by its tech-heavy listings, most notably Amazon, which gained more than 8% for the day. The Nasdaq gained 2.5% for the day to hit a new high of 10,767 points.

News early in the day of another potential vaccine for Covid-19 was largely ignored by investors did not move the needle much. A report published Monday morning in The Lancet medical journal by researchers at AstraZeneca and Oxford University found that a potential vaccine shows strong immune responses in early trials.

More than 100 other potential vaccines against the virus are currently in testing.

Initial results from Moderna, which showed similar positive feedback on its own vaccine, sent stocks shooting up earlier this year. But final results from the phase 1 trials had only a negligible effect on markets

In total, more than 14.5 million people have been infected by Covid-19 worldwide, while 608,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, more than 3.8 million people have contracted Covid-19, while nearly 141,000 have died.

Due to the spike of cases recently, President Trump announced Monday he will resume his appearance at daily press briefings later this week. 

The impact on the Covid crisis and lockdowns has had a varied effect on states, according to an analysis by the St. Louis Fed. While every state’s gross domestic product dropped in the first quarter of this year, the damage was not equally spread out.

New York was among the hardest hit, suffering an 8.2% drop in New York, while many prairie states had only 1 or 2 percentage-point drops. The data does not include the second quarter, when spikes in the virus began to strike in other states.

Meanwhile, investors are girding for another round of earnings reports from such big names as United Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Twitter. The first out the gate is IBM, which is scheduled to announce its earnings after markets close this evening.

Last week, earnings reports from big names in the financial world were mixed. Firms that had heavy investment banking divisions did very well, though some banks — such as Wells Fargo — showed year-over-year losses.

Across the pond, European Union officials are coming closer to a new stimulus package that would include about $857 billion, split evenly between grants and loans. While the full stimulus package seems less than originally expected, it would provide relief to the hardest-hit member countries.

“The news should continue to boost the Euro, especially in light of the fact that Europe appears to have much better control over Covid right now and an expand its economic activities,” Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management wrote in an investor’s note. “If the EU authorities actually ink a deal the single currency could move through the 1.1500 barrier on hopes of an economic rebound.

As of 3:40 p.m. EDT, one Euro was trading at $1.14. Most European markets closed slightly higher on the news, with Germany’s Dax gaining 0.85% and the pan-European Stoxx 600 increasing only 0.4%.  

In Asia, investors had a mixed day, with Shanghai’s index shooting up 3.1% but most other markets flat or slightly negative.

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