Stocks ended mixed on Wednesday, as the Nasdaq and S&P 500 rose as tech shares reversed their earlier declines made this week, as the Dow was pressured lower. The Nasdaq outperformed, recovering from its 2% drop seen earlier in the week, while the S&P rose as investors rotated gains from reopening names back into stay-at-home stocks.
Pfizer's (PFE ) and BioNTech's (BNTX ) positive vaccine news has prompted Goldman Sachs (GS ) and JPMorgan (JPM ) to raise their outlook forecasts for the S&P 500. Goldman predicts that the S&P will reach 3,700 by the end of the year. The firm also forecasts that the index will rally to 4,300 by the end of the year, which implies a 21% upside. JPMorgan strategists expect that the benchmark will rise to 4,000 by early 2021, boosted by improving coronavirus conditions and uncertainties surrounding the political landscape subsiding.
The market's risk sentiment optimism followed positive coronavirus vaccine and treatment news announced earlier this week. Yet, the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. continues to accelerate, with the nation topping its prior daily infection records day after day and cross the grim milestone of more than 10 million cases earlier this week.
Here's how the market settled for the mid-week:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): +0.77% or +27.14 points to 3,572.67
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): -0.08% or -23.29 points to 29,397.63
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): +2.01% or +232.58 oints to 11,786.43
For Major Stock News, major tech names rose as the market reversed the moves its made earlier this week: Alphabet (GOOG ), Amazon (AMZN ), Apple (AAPL ), Facebook (FB ), Microsoft (MSFT ) and Netflix (NFLX ) rose. Other stay-at-home names like Zoom Video (ZM ) rose over 10%, while Shopify (SHOP ), Roku (ROKU ) and Square (SQ ) rose over 6 over concerns of coming full lockdowns to major U.S. cities. Cruises and airlines--American (AAL ), Carnival (CCL ), Delta (DAL ), Norwegian (NCLH ), Royal Caribbean (RCL ), Southwest (LUV ) and United (UAL )--slumped after gaining during the week's earlier sessions, while American Express (AXP ), Disney (DIS ) and Boeing (BA ) dragging down the Dow, with Boeing falling after four-straight sessions of gains.
For Sector Performance, industries ended the session mixed as the market looked for clear direction as coronavirus outlooks still appeared cloudy. Information Technology (XLK ) was the big winner, increasing over 2% as Apple and Microsoft added to the semiconductor rally. Consumer Discretionary (XLY ) and Consumer Staples (XLP ) also gained roughly 1%. Materials (XLB ) was the biggest loser, dropping over 1%, while Industrials (XLI ) and Energy (XLE ) slumped lower.
For Commodities and Currency, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) rose on Wednesday as global markets continued to adjust to higher interest rates and prospects for economic growth following effective coronavirus vaccine news tailwinds. The dollar index was up 0.5% against other global currencies, following a flat trading day on Tuesday and a rise of 0.5% on Monday. Gold (GLD ) prices fell on Wednesday as the greenback strengthened and vaccine optimism drove investors towards riskier bets. Spot gold fell 0.9% to $1,860.61 per ounce, while gold futures settled 0.9% lower at $1,859.60 per ounce. Crude oil futures rose slightly on Wednesday as coronavirus vaccine hopes continued to outweigh lockdown demand concerns. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) increased 0.16% to $44.53 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate rose 0.2% higher to $41.45 each. Both benchmarks gained roughly 3% on Tuesday.
For Thursday, market participants will turn their attention to the Labor Department's weekly unemployment claims data, which is expected to total 731,000.