Stocks traded choppily ahead of a busy week that will include a slew of corporate earnings results, economic data, Federal Open Market Committee meeting and debate over the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq briefly turned negative intraday amid concerns over the timeline for more stimulus, though the Nasdaq ultimately closed at a record high. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday that Congress would aim to pass the next coronavirus relief bill in the next four to six weeks, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Prior to that, investors had been looking for President Joe Biden to push for Congress to prioritize debate over his $1.9 trillion relief proposal. Passing the massive proposal after more than $3 trillion in stimulus was injected into the economy last year was always likely prove challenging, however. A bipartisan group of lawmakers already pushed back against the size of Biden’s proposal during a call with White House adviser Brian Deese this weekend, Bloomberg reported earlier on Monday.
Biden’s plan, which calls for another round of stimulus checks to most Americans and aid to state and local governments, had already elicited some concern last week. Some lawmakers raised their hesitations during Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing to become Treasury Secretary on Tuesday, noting that they believed the package as written would not provide aid targeted enough to support only the individuals and economic areas most in need during the pandemic. The full Senate is set to vote on Yellen’s nomination on Monday, after the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved her nomination on Friday.
The Dow lagged, shedding about 40 points, or 0.1%. Shares of Merck (MRK), a Dow component, slipped before recovering after the company said it would discontinue its COVID-19 vaccine development program following disappointing data from their early trials.
Tech stocks also fluctuated between gains and losses on Monday. A number of Big Tech stocks including Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB) are set to report quarterly results later this week after a strong start to earnings season over the past two weeks. Apple shares hit a record intraday and closing high.
With many of these tech stocks having sharply outperformed the market last year, investors will be looking to see whether these companies expect their growth to hold up even as a vaccine enables other industries to bounce back.
“The big question and debate among investors is around which tech secular themes will continue to play out in the field over the coming year,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note Saturday.
Still, he added he expects “a robust tech earnings season to kick into full gear this week with strong ‘beat and raise’ results adding to Street optimism for tech stocks in 2021,” Ives added. “In our opinion, despite the historic run we have seen in tech stocks over the past year, there is significant room to run higher as the transformational growth stories in cloud, cyber security, and 5G are just starting to play out in the field.”
4:02 p.m. ET: Stocks end mixed, Nasdaq sets fresh closing high as Apple jumps to a record
Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:02 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +13.89 (+0.36%) to 3,855.36
Dow (^DJI): -37.04 (-0.12%) to 30,959.94
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +92.93 (+0.69%) to 13,635.99
Crude (CL=F): +$0.51 (+0.98%) to $52.78 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -$1.90 (-0.10%) to $1,854.30 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -5.1 bps to yield 1.0400%
2:59 p.m. ET: Stocks trade mixed, S&P 500 and Nasdaq recover
The three major indices were mixed again in intraday trading, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq popping back into positive territory, while the Dow held lower. Component stocks American Express, Goldman Sachs and Intel underperformed.
In the energy, financials and materials sectors underperformed, while the utilities, real estate and consumer staples sectors outperformed.
With about an hour left of trading, the S&P 500 was up 0.1%, the Nasdaq increased 0.4% and the Dow dipped 0.4%.
11:25 a.m. ET: Stocks turn negative, Nasdaq declines
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 11:25 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -17.19 points (-0.45%) to 3,824.28
Dow (^DJI): -287.6 points (-0.93%) to 30,709.38
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -21.76 points (-0.16%) to 13,520.19
Crude (CL=F): -$0.29 (-0.55%) to $51.98 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -$6.60 (-0.36%) to $1,849.60 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -4.5 bps to yield 1.046%
10:31 a.m. ET: Moderna shares jump after company says it is working on a vaccine against South African coronavirus variant
Moderna (MRNA) shares jumped more than 9% in intraday trading on Monday after the company announced it was working on a new coronavirus vaccine to combat the variant found recently in South Africa.
While Moderna reaffirmed Monday its existing vaccine was shown to still confer a strong immune response to the new strain of COVID-19 found in South Africa, the company noted it would still test an additional booster to ensure maximum effectiveness against the virus. Other health experts have also recently said they believed the existing COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna would likely still work against the new strains of the virus found in the UK, South Africa and parts of the U.S.
“The two-dose regimen of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at the 100 µg [microgram] dose is expected to be protective against emerging strains detected to date. Nonetheless, Moderna today announced its clinical strategy to proactively address the pandemic as the virus continues to evolve,” the company said in a statement. “First, the Company will test an additional booster dose of its COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA-1273) to study the ability to further increase neutralizing titers against emerging strains beyond the existing primary vaccination series. Second, the Company is advancing an emerging variant booster candidate (mRNA-1273.351) against the B.1.351 variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa.”
9:52 a.m. ET: Apple shares hit a record high ahead of earnings
Shares of Apple jumped as much as 4.3% on Monday to hit a record high of $145.08 apiece, adding to its recent rally ahead of its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday.
Consensus analysts expect Apple to report $100 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time in company history. The launch of the iPhone 12 and its variants, which took place a month later than usual due to the pandemic, pushed sales entirely into Apple’s fiscal first quarter.
Shares of Apple have risen 82% over the past 12 months, far outperforming the S&P 500’s 17% advance.
9:44 a.m. ET: GameStop shares resume trading, cut gains to 41%
9:36 a.m. ET: GameStop shares halted after hitting record high, as volatility after massive short squeeze continues
GameStop (GME) shares jumped as much as 55.4% on Monday to hit a record high of $101.01 per share, building on Friday’s massive rally as investors scrambled to cover their short bets against the stock. Shares of GameStop had risen 51% on Friday to close at $65.01 per share, rocketing 1,405% above its share price from a year earlier.
Shares of GameStop were halted at about 9:34 a.m. ET on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday due to volatility.
Prior to the halt, GameStop’s overnight jump came even as Wall Street firm Telsey Advisory Group double-downgraded the stock to Underperform from Outperform on Monday, citing a “disconnect between fundamentals and valuation.”
9:30 a.m. ET: S&P 500, Nasdaq open higher while Dow dips
Here’s where markets were trading shortly after the opening bell on Monday:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +10.68 points (+0.28%) to 3,852.15
Dow (^DJI): -85.45 points (-0.28%) to 30,911.53
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +143.76 points (+1.06%) to 13,686.82
Crude (CL=F): -$0.14 (-0.27%) to $52.13 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$6.70 (+0.36%) to $1,862.90 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -2.2 bps to yield 1.069%
7:22 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures mixed, Merck weighs on Dow
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:22 a.m. ET Monday:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,841.25, up 7 points or 0.18%
Dow futures (YM=F): 30,843.00, down 66 points or 0.21%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,485.00, up 123.5 points or 0.92%
Crude (CL=F): +$0.05 (+0.1%) to $52.32 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$5.70 (+0.31%) to $1,861.90 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.4 bps to yield 1.077%