Stocks slide as strong November for market comes to a close
Stocks and bonds are mostly lower in rather quiet trading to end November as profit taking looks to be weighing somewhat on U.S. equities. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden announced members of his economic team, including Janet Yellen as his nominee to be Secretary of the Treasury. Yellen took to Twitter to say: "We face great challenges as a country right now. To recover, we must restore the American dream-a society where each person can rise to their potential and dream even bigger for their children. As Treasury Secretary, I will work every day towards rebuilding that dream for all."
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Dallas Fed manufacturing index dropped back 7.8 points to 12.0 in November, which was a little weaker than projected. The Chicago PMI fell another 2.9 points to 58.2 in November. An index of pending home sales dipped 1.1% to 128.9 in October.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Moderna (MRNA) surged 18% higher after the pharma company announced that the primary efficacy analysis of the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, conducted on 196 cases confirms the high efficacy observed at the first interim analysis, indicating a vaccine efficacy of 94.1%. The company added that it will submit for an Emergency Use Authorization with the U.S. FDA and an application for Conditional Marketing Authorization with the European Medicines Agency for the vaccine.
In other COVID-19 news, the FDA has granted Roche (RHHBY) an Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 test Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S, intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection.
Nikola (NKLA) shares dropped 23% after the company and General Motors (GM) announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, with the latter no longer taking an equity stake in the electric-truck maker. GM still intends to provide Nikola with fuel-cell technology but has scrapped plans to build an electric pickup truck named the Badger for the startup. Following the news, Nikola filed a prospectus supplement relating to the issuance of up to an aggregate of up to 23.89M shares of common stock.
Meanwhile, shares of Facebook (FB) were 1% lower near noon after The Wall Street Journal reported that the social media giant is close to a deal to acquire Kustomer, a startup that specializes in customer service platforms and chatbots, in a deal that would value the startup at a little over $1B.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was GameStop (GME), which gained 12% amid Cyber Monday, during which the retailer is offering deals on many video game products. Also higher was S&P Global (SPGI), which rose 2% after it agreed to an all-stock merger agreement with IHS Markit (INFO), valuing IHS at $44B.
Among the notable losers was Kandi Technologies (KNDI), which sunk 22% after Hindenburg Research said in a new short report that the company is a "brazen scheme" that falsifies revenue using fake sales to undisclosed affiliates. Also lower was New Jersey Resources (NJR), which fell over 7% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 346.08, or 1.16%, to 29,564.29
, the Nasdaq was down 54.86, or 0.45%, to 12,150.99
, and the S&P 500 was down 26.21, or 0.72%, to 3,612.14