The main stock market indexes were varied Wednesday as rising hopes of a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine mixed with fears of another round of lockdowns as states continue reporting record surges of COVID-19 cases, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
A COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and German-based biotech firm BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) showed strong results in early stage human trials, according to the companies.
Pfizer shares jumped 3.2% while shares of BioNTech were up 7.2% at one point in afternoon trading before a sell-off sent the stock price down. It closed 3.9% lower.
The gains in tech pushed the Nasdaq composite to another record close at 10,154 points.
Investors also focused on global manufacturing as data released Wednesday showed a slump in the industry eased in June, with U.S. figures hitting their highest levels in more than a year.
The Institute for Supply Management reported an index reading of 52.6, up from last month’s 43.1, ending three consecutive months of contraction.
The ADP National Employment Report showed U.S. private payrolls increasing by 2.3 million, but still less than expected in June.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 3,115 (+0.50%)
DOW: 25,734 (-0.30%)
NASDAQ: 10,154 (+0.95%)
RUSSELL 2000: 1,427 (-0.98%)
VIX: 28.62 (-5.95%)
GOLD: $1,780.80 (-1.09%)
BITCOIN: $9,248.78 (+1.05%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.67% (+0.023%)
* as of 4:15 p.m.
A Big Win
In this morning’s Opening Bell, we told you to be on the lookout for FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) after the company said its adjusted earnings for the three months ending in May were $2.53 per share — beating Wall Street expectations of $1.52. Shares of FedEx rose 11.7%.
We also told you about T2 Biosystems Inc. (Nasdaq: TTOO) as the company reported preliminary Q2 sales of $2.4 million to $2.6 million compared to $1.8 million a year ago. T2 Biosystems rose almost 20%.
Finally, we mentioned Beyond Meat Inc. (Nasdaq: BYND), as the plant-based meat producer announced plans to enter the Chinese grocery market by the end of the week. It is doing so thanks to a partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA). Shares of Beyond Meat traded up 5.7%.
The price of gold dropped from a near eight-year high on Wednesday as equities gained on the back of strong manufacturing data.
Spot gold fell to $1,770.57 per ounce, having earlier hit its highest peak since October 2012 at $1,788. U.S. gold futures settled down 1.25% to trade at $1,778 an ounce.
Gold surged more than 13% last quarter due to fears of a second coronavirus outbreak and as global banks increased stimulus measures and kept interest rates low.
Silver futures moved 2.24% lower to $18.22 an ounce while platinum fell 2% to $833 an ounce. Palladium dropped 1.9% to trade at $1,929 an ounce.
A Chicago-based multistate cannabis operator entered into its fifth sale-leaseback deal with Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE: IIPR).
According to Marijuana Business Daily, Cresco Labs entered the deal for an integrated marijuana facility in Massachusetts. The deal is worth approximately $29 billion and includes $21 million for tenant improvements.
The deal is similar to those struck between the two companies for facilities in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, including two deals in June worth $17 million.
Fed Officials Unclear on Need for Yield-Curve Control
According to Bloomberg, the Federal Open Market Committee said there was not a clear need “to reinforce its forward guidance with the adoption of a yield-curve control policy.”
The central bank kept interest rates near zero during the meeting and agreed to continue purchasing Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds at a pace of nearly $120 billion a month.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters after the meeting that officials never considered raising rates.
Today’s Big Winners
S&P 500: FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FSX) +11.7%
Nasdaq: Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) +8.2%
Dow: Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) +3.2%
Today’s Big Losers
S&P 500: HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) -5.4%
Nasdaq: Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) -5.2%
Dow: Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) -3.6%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.