Stocks had a mixed day as sentiment became more balanced after yesterday's risk-on rally triggered by the upbeat vaccine news from Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX). While the vaccine news is offering hope, virus cases continue to rise in the U.S., which is increasing the risk that some states and regions will return to some form of lockdown. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was the laggard as the prospect of a vaccine and return to normal shift some support away from tech stocks that have outperformed amid the pandemic and towards beaten down sectors such as travel and leisure.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the NFIB small business optimism index was unchanged at 104.0 in October. The IBD/TIPP economic optimism index slumped 5.2 points to 50.0 in November, giving back half of the 10.2 point jump seen in October. The JOLTS report showed job openings rebounded 84,000 to 6.44M in September.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) rose almost 3% after the company's investigational monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 was issued an emergency use authorization from the FDA.
China's State Administration for Market Regulation is seeking feedback on draft rules covering a host of potential anti-monopolistic practices on the country's digital platforms, according to The Wall Street Journal's Liza Lin. The new rules, which are seen as likely meant to help advance a recent push from China's leaders to encourage domestic consumption, could impact Alibaba (BABA) and other China-based internet companies trading in the U.S. such as Tencent (TCEHY), JD.com (JD), Pinduoduo (PDD) and Weibo (WB). On a separate note, Alibaba reported that total GMV exceeded RMB372.3B in the time since the Global Shopping Festival's first shopping window opened until half an hour into the start of the Nov. 11 window.
Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND) were under significant pressure after the company reported worse than expected quarterly results amid a slowdown in the pace of sales growth caused by the pandemic. Shares of the high-flying meat-alternative maker dropped 17% following last night's report.
Evergy (EVRG) shares were just over 1% higher after CNBC reported that NextEra Energy (NEE) had attempted to buy the company in May, though there have been no talks since. In response to media reports, Elliott Management, one of Evergy's biggest investors, released a statement saying Evergy must "immediately reengage" with NextEra on deal talks. Later on, however, Evergy released its own statement confirming its commitment to its current transformation plan, known as the Sustainability Transformation Plan. "While we are always open to new ideas and opportunities that have the potential to enhance shareholder value, we remain confident that the STP, which Elliott publicly endorsed when it was announced, is the best risk-adjusted path forward and that all appropriate steps are being and have been taken to maximize shareholder value," the company said. "We will continue to act accordingly."
Apple (AAPL) was in focus following its "One More Thing" event, during which it unveiled a new MacBook Air, new 13-inch MacBook Pro, and new Mac Mini, all fitted with its new M1 semiconductors. Apple said its new M1 chip, the first silicon chip designed specifically for Mac devices, uses 5 nanometer technology for faster loading speeds, better batter life, and improved app features.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Aviation Administration is considering new safety-related penalties or other enforcement action against Boeing (BA).
Additionally, Walmart (WMT) and General Motors' (GM) Cruise unit announced an agreement to begin testing unmanned autonomous vehicles by the end of this year.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Peloton (PTON), which rose 5.2% after announcing announcing a "broad, multi-year partnership" with musician and actress Beyonce. Also higher were Xperi (XPER) and Inovio (INO), which gained a respective 24.3% and 35.4% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was Kandi Technologies (KNDI), which declined 22.7% after it reported quarterly results and entered into an agreement for a registered direct placement. Also lower after reporting quarterly results were Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA), LiveRamp (RAMP), and Jumia Technologies (JMIA), which fell 19.6%, 22.5%, and 19.4%, respectively.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 262.95, or 0.90%, to 29,420.92, the Nasdaq lost 159.93, or 1.37%, to 11,553.86, and the S&P 500 declined 4.97, or 0.14%, to 3,545.53.