Stocks battle back as WHO soothes fears over new coronavirus strain


Stocks trimmed their early losses after the World Health Organization said COVID-19 vaccines would be able to combat the outbreak of a new fast-spreading coronavirus strain in Britain and as U.S. lawmakers agreed on an aid package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher by 37 points, or 0.12%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were lower by 0.39% and 0.1% respectively. The Dow was down as many as 423 points early in the session.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35327.54 -33.19 -0.09%
SP500 S&P 500 4529.82 +7.14 +0.16%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15342.851951 +83.62 +0.55%

The World Health Organization said Monday that there was no evidence the newly discovered strain was more deadly and that the newly doscivered vaccines should be able to stop its spread.

The recently discovered COVID-19 strain, which could be up to 70% more transmissible than the original, caused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose stricter lockdowns.

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This as both the House and Senate were set to vote on a $900 billion stimulus package that would deliver $600 direct payments to individuals, extended unemployment benefits and additional paycheck protection loans for small businesses.

Looking at stocks, airlines and cruise operators were under pressure as the new COVID-19 strain threatened renewed fear of widespread travel restrictions.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC. 19.71 -0.23 -1.15%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 23.91 -0.24 -1.01%

Elsewhere, Tesla Inc. was set to open sharply lower after shares were added to the S&P 500 following Friday’s closing bell. The Elon Musk-led electric-vehicle maker makes up 1.69% of the index and is the eighth-largest member.

TESLA’S IN THE S&P 500: NOW DEFENSE SHIFTS TO OFFENSE

Apple Inc. is moving forward with plans to develop self-driving technology and an electric car by 2024, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The project could also include Apple making its own battery technology.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 739.99 +4.27 +0.58%
AAPL APPLE, INC. 154.41 +2.58 +1.70%

Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. were lower as West Texas Intermediate crude oil plunged $1.36 to $47.17 per barrel.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 54.35 -0.16 -0.29%
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 96.36 -0.28 -0.28%

On the upside, financials including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group were on the rise after the Federal Reserve said late Friday that banks could resume buying back shares after programs were suspended in June amid COVID-19-related concerns.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 159.57 -0.39 -0.24%
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 41.31 -0.40 -0.97%
C CITIGROUP, INC. 71.70 -0.19 -0.26%
GS THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, INC. 413.62 +0.22 +0.05%

In earnings, Nike Inc. reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street estimates, boosted by the sneaker giant’s first $2 billion quarter in China and 84% year-over-year digital sales growth.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKE NIKE, INC. 165.99 +1.18 +0.72%

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European markets were weaker across the board with Germany’s DAX trading lower by 2.82%, France’s CAC falling 2.43% and Britain’s FTSE 100 sliding 1.73%.

Asian markets finished mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite index climbing 0.76%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipping 0.18% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropping 0.72%.


View more information: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-dec-21-2020

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