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Wall Street bounces back from virus-related sell-off

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  • S&P tech sector wins, chip stocks outperform
  • Merck hangs out on Dow Industrials
  • Twitter closes down after CEO Dorsey resigns
  • Rising indices: Dow 0.68%, S&P 1.32%, Nasdaq 1.88%

Nov. 29 (Reuters) – Wall Street shares closed higher on Monday, regaining some of the ground lost in Friday’s sell-off as investors hoped the Omicron coronavirus variant wouldn’t lead to lockdowns after insurance by US President Joe Biden.

The Nasdaq topped gains among major averages with help from the tech sector, while the S&P and Dow advanced after suffering their biggest single-day percentage declines in months during the shortened session. Friday holiday, with investors fearing the latest variant of COVID-19 could cause economic disruption. Read more

Biden said Monday that Omicron-related lockdowns were not on the agenda at this time and urged Americans not to panic over the variant. However, he recommended vaccinations and wearing a mask indoors to fight the virus and said the United States was working with drug companies to develop contingency plans if new vaccines were needed. Read more

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These comments and indications from pharmaceutical companies that they are taking the variant seriously were reassuring to investors, who were concerned about the potential for further COVID restrictions.

“Friday was a major risk reduction event. The market returned to its worst fears of the spread of COVID and the return of lockdowns,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“Now you start to see that there is some optimism when you listen to the chairman, when you listen to the CEO of Pfizer. Omicron’s panic is easing and we are in a waiting period.”

Vaccine makers such as Pfizer (PFE.N), its partner BioNTech (22UAy.DE) and their rivals Moderna (MRNA.O) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Monday they were working on vaccines targeting specifically Omicron in case the existing shots are not effective against the variant. find out more nFWN2SK0VH]

“It’s not like the start of the pandemic again,” said Carol Schleif, deputy director of investments at the BMO family office in Minneapolis, who also noted that after Friday’s knee-jerk reaction, investors were trained. this year to buy the decline. . “People are willing to take a deep breath and try to reassess, be a little more patient.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 236.6 points, or 0.68%, to 35,135.94, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 60.65 points, or 1.32%, to 4,655.27 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 291.18 points, or 1.88%, to 15,782.83.

Among the top 11 sectors of the S&P, technology (.SPLRCT) was the biggest gainer by percentage, up 2.6%, followed by the consumer discretionary sector (.SPLRCD), which closed up 1.0%. 6%, thanks to boosts from Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, United States, November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) also drastically increased individual S&P stocks, which gained ground after HSBC raised its price target for the iPhone maker.

As the Dow Jones (.DJI) advanced, it underperformed its peers under pressure from Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N), which closed 5.4% lower. The drugmaker extended losses from Friday when updated data from a study of its COVID-19 pill showed less effectiveness than previously reported in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death. Read more

Britain has said it will offer a COVID-19 booster vaccine to all adults and give a second dose to children aged 12 to 15, in light of concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant. He also said Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were the preferred booster shots. Read more

After the US market closed, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said anyone aged 18 and over should receive boosters six months after Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines or two months after a Johnson injection. & Johnson (JNJ.N).

Moderna was up 11.8% on the day, while Pfizer fell nearly 3% and Johnson & Johnson fell 0.34%.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (.SOX) outperformed the overall market with a gain of 4% as chip inventories rose significantly. Nvidia (NVDA.O) provided the biggest boost with a gain of 5.9%.

Tesla shares gained 5% after a report that Chief Elon Musk urged employees to reduce the cost of delivering vehicles.

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) closed 2.7% lower, reversing initial gains after the social media company announced CEO Jack Dorsey would step down and be replaced by CTO Parag Agrawal. Dorsey was in the unusual position of being the CEO of two large tech companies, the second being digital payments company Square Inc (SQ.N). Read more

Rising issues outnumbered falling on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.31 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.35 to 1 favored the declines.

The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 21 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 39 new highs and 344 new lows.

On the US stock markets, 11.13 billion shares changed hands Monday against 10.84 billion on average for the last 20 sessions.

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Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick, Devik Jain in Bengaluru, Sinad Carew in New York and Kevin Buckland in Ottawa, edited by Dan Grebler

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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