S&P 500 flat as vaccine bets offset surging coronavirus cases; Boeing rises

In this news, we discuss the S&P 500 flat as vaccine bets offset surging coronavirus cases; Boeing rises.

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 was little changed on Wednesday as investors weighed the short-term economic pain of the surge in coronavirus cases against growing optimism that a working vaccine was near, while the Dow was boosted by a rise in Boeing shares.

Aircraft manufacturer BA.N rose 3.2% after securing US approval to re-fly its 737 MAX after a 20-month grounding following two fatal crashes.

The news has also boosted airline shares. American Airlines AAL.O gained 3.6% and Southwest Airlines LUV.N added 2.1% as carriers planned to fly the plane again.

Pfizer Inc PFE.N said it would seek US emergency clearance for its COVID-19 vaccine within days and disclosed the final results of an advanced stage trial that showed it to be 95% effective . Shares of the drugmaker rose 3%.

The announcement comes after Moderna Inc MRNA.O released preliminary data for its COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, showing similar efficacy.

Meanwhile, the number of reported daily deaths worldwide from the coronavirus hit an all-time high on Tuesday, as the virus’s global epicenter, the United States, entered winter.

“The current market narrative appears to encompass a tussle between the good news on the vaccine front, juxtaposed with the increase in new cases of COVID,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York. . At 9:58 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 69.04 points, or 0.23%, to 29,852.39, the S&P 500 .SPX fell 1.77 points, or 0.05% at 3,607.76. The Nasdaq .IXIC composite lost 41.47 points, or 0.35% to 11,857.87.

Target Corp TGT.N rose 2.3% after the big box retailer beat expectations for quarterly earnings and sales as its fast delivery services boosted online shopping.

Discount store operator TJX Companies Inc. TJX.N rose about 3% after beating quarterly sales estimates.

“With earnings announcements coming in better than expected in the retail sector and positive news on Boeing, this should boost interest in cyclicals,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth, New York.

S&P sectors sensitive to economic growth, such as .SPSY finance, .SPLRCI industry, .SPLRCM materials and .SPNY energy, led the winners.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX and the blue-chip Dow .DJI pulled back from their all-time highs on Tuesday as gloomy U.S. retail sales data, along with the specter of further restrictions dampened demand for risky assets.

Lowe’s Cos Inc LOW.N fell 5% as the home improvement chain forecast vacation quarter earnings well below analyst estimates.

Rising issues outnumbered declines on the NYSE by a 1.9-to-1 ratio and a 1.7-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 recorded 12 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 130 new highs and five new lows.

Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan, Sruthi Shankar, Medha Singh, Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila

Original © Thomson Reuters

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