Major U.S. stock market indexes were in the green Wednesday thanks to tech darlings, but negative airline news kept gains in check, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
It was another choppy trading day, as investors weighed an early economic rebound against concern for more lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gains in technology shares bolstered weak showings from other sectors that aren’t weathering the COVID-19 storm.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) provided the biggest boost to all three indexes. Apple hit another record-high, while the S&P 500 technology index rose 1.6%.
United Airlines Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: UAL) suffered a sell-off and subsequent recovery after announcing it may have to layoff 36,000 front-line employees. Shares fell 0.1%.
Many investors are worried about the potential for another lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surpassed 3 million, with many states breaking daily record highs.
And the recent rally has some experts worried about the overall health of the stock market.
“There are warning signs out there… While I don’t expect this market to crash, it’s overbought, and I think investors at this juncture are playing with fire,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 3,170 (+0.79%)
DOW: 26,051 (+0.62%)
NASDAQ: 10,492 (+1.44%)
RUSSELL 2000: 1,421 (+0.41%)
VIX: 28.11 (-4.49%)
GOLD: $1,818 (+0.45%)
BITCOIN: $9.436.77 (+2.52%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.65% (+0.008%)
*- as of 4:05 p.m.
A Big Win
This morning, we mentioned GenMark Diagnostics Inc. (Nasdaq: GNMK), which reported preliminary second-quarter revenue growth of almost 120%. Investors drove the stock more than 20% higher in Wednesday trading.
Traders weren’t nearly as kind to Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI) after the American clothing company announced layoffs and a reported earnings that couldn’t beat expectations. Shares were down 9%.
Gold soared past the technical $1,800 threshold on Wednesday, scaling its highest since September 2011, as investors bolted for safety from the novel coronavirus.
Spot gold rallied 0.8% to $1,809 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled 0.4% higher at $1,818.20.
“The pillars of support are the fiscal and monetary stimulus,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
“The constant injection of liquidity into the market continues to be the most prominent positive factor, as the dollar has been weakening and supporting commodity prices, but more specifically gold and silver.”
In other metals, silver futures jumped 2.4% to $19.14 per ounce. Palladium futures fell 0.8% to $1,935.30 per ounce and platinum futures rose 1.8% to $879.20 per ounce.
California-based MedMen Enterprises (OTCMKTS: MMNFF) is facing a slew of issues that will likely only hurt the stock price more, according to Marijuana Business Daily.
- A May lawsuit has forced two MedMen-branded Arizona stores to close temporarily.
- The company may lose its retail licence in Pasadena, California.
- Former CFO James Parker is demanding $600,000 in legal fees in an ongoing lawsuit that began in January 2019.
The stock was trading 5% lower at $0.20 Wednesday afternoon.
Biogen Moves Forward With Potential Alzheimer’s Drug
Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) said Wednesday it submitted an application seeking U.S. approval of its closely watched Alzheimer’s drug.
The company aims to be the first to bring a treatment to market that can alter the course of the mind-wasting disease.
Biogen shares were up nearly 4% in afternoon trading.
The number of people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is expected to triple to nearly 14 million by 2050 without effective treatments, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Today’s Big Winners:
(as of 3:15 p.m. EDT)
S&P 500: Kohl’s Corp (NYSE: KSS) +9.5%
Nasdaq: JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD) +6%
Dow: Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) +2.7%
Today’s Big Losers:
(as of 3:15 p.m. EDT)
S&P 500: Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) -5.9%
Nasdaq: Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ALXN) -4%
Dow: Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW) -3.2%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.
Reuters contributed to this report.