The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed higher on Wednesday as investors focused on signs of economic recovery and better than expected economic data. However, Pfizer vaccine news could not help the Dow edge up to the positive territory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 77.91 points, or 0.3%, to close at 25,734.97 and the S&P 500 gained 15.57 points, or 0.5% to close at of 3,115.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 10,154.63, gaining 95.86 points, or 1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased nearly 6%, to close at 28.62. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for 1.14-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.25-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored advancers.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow snapped its two-day winning streak, as most of its stocks ended in the red. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA registered a 3.6% drop, and was the biggest loser of the blue-chip index.
Walgreens Boots Alliance carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The Nasdaq on the other hand, benefitted from people staying at home. Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN and Facebook, Inc. FB surged nearly 4.4% on Wednesday. The tech-heavy index also got a boost from the 8.2% rise in Amgen Inc. AMGN.
Out of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, eight closed in the green, with the real estate sector rising over 2.5%. The broader indexes’ rally was capped by losses in the energy, financials and industrials sectors.
Overall, the S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 75 new highs and 10 new lows.
Investors Look Past Surge in COVID-19 Cases
So far, the United Nations have recorded nearly 2.8 million coronavirus cases and the country added 51,097 new cases on Jul 1. However, investors choose to overlook the rise in case as progress in various COVID-19 vaccine programs lifted sentiments.
Shares of Pfizer Inc. PFE rose 3.2% after the company and BioNTech SE BNTX announced data from their BNT162 mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine program. The vaccine was found to be well-tolerated in early-stage human trials, all 24 participants in the trial had developed neutralizing antibodies.
Pfizer reported that if the vaccine gets regulatory approval, it can make up to 100 million doses by year-end and “potentially” more than 1.2 billion by the end of 2021.
Private Payrolls Adds Job in June
On Wednesday, ADP and Moody’s Analytics reported that private payrolls added 2.37 million jobs in June. May’s payrolls were also revised to a gain of more than 3 million from a loss of 2.76 million.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturing activity grew to 52.6, its highest level since April 2019, recovering from a sharp contraction in May at 43.1. The figures also surpassed the consensus estimate of 49.3.
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