S&P 500, Nasdaq Scale New Peaks On Tech, Oil Boost

Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine approval lifts market mood Trillium nearly triples on Pfizer's $2.26 bln deal GM to take $1 bln hit on expanded Bolt EV recall, shares slip Indexes jump: Dow 0.80%, S&P 1.01%, Nasdaq 1.50%

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 Energy and technology stocks powered the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record highs on Monday as investors returned to riskier assets after last week’s selloff and Pfizer-BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine got full U.S. approval.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced. Energy shares (.SPNY) jumped 3.8%, having lost 7.3% in the previous week on fears that new COVID-19 curbs would hit fuel demand.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O), Amazon.com (AMZN.O), Google-owner Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) gained between 1.1% and 4.6%.

Industrials (.SPLRCI) and banks (.SPXBK) added 1.1% each.

The U.S. drug regulator granted full approval to the Pfizer Inc (PFE.N)/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine for use in people aged 16 and older, as health authorities struggle to win over vaccine skeptics during a relentless pandemic. read more

Pfizer shares rose 2.5%, while BioNTech jumped 9.9%.

“Investors are looking at the approval as additional reasons why we should not fear the Delta variant, that we will continue to be able to fight this virus and succeed and that whatever slowdown in the economy is occurring now will likely be short-lived,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

At 12:10 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 280.06 points, or 0.80%, at 35,400.14, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 44.91 points, or 1.01%, at 4,486.58, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 220.80 points, or 1.50%, at 14,935.46.

U.S. stocks had whipsawed last week on worries that a surge in cases of the Delta variant would further hurt the economy at a time when growth was already beginning to slow.

Data released on Monday showed the road to economic recovery looked wobbly with sales of previously owned U.S. homes (USEHS=ECI) unexpectedly rising last month, while growth in business activity slowed for a third straight month in August. read more

Focus is now on the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for cues on when the central bank would start to taper its massive pandemic-era stimulus.

The summit will be held virtually, on Aug. 27, for a second straight year.

“The Fed seems to have done a good job of telegraphing the move … and a taper could be seen as bullish – the Fed wouldn’t contemplate pulling the punch bowl away if it continued to have lots of doubts about the economy,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

Among other stocks, U.S.-listed shares of Trillium Therapeutics Inc nearly tripled after Pfizer agreed to buy the cancer drug developer in a $2.26 billion deal.

General Motors Co (GM.N) fell 1.5% after the largest U.S. automaker said it would take a $1 billion hit to expand the recall of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles due to the risk of fires from the high-voltage battery pack.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.56-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.86-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 56 new 52-week highs and 1 new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 87 new highs and 40 new lows.

– Reuters

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