Stocks mixed as market weighs CPI reading, J&J vaccine pause
The major averages are mixed at midday, with the Dow lagging, the Nasdaq outperforming, and the S&P 500 slightly higher. The warmer CPI figures appear to have largely been overlooked as the tame reaction in the bond market implies the Fed has done a good job in preparing the market for the surge in prices, convincing most that the accommodative policy stance will be left in place despite rising inflation. Investors appear to so far also be looking beyond news that the U.S. is recommending a pause in J&J's vaccine program due to blood clotting worries.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Consumer Price Index jumped 0.6% in March with the core rate rising 0.3%, both of which were hotter than projected.
TOP NEWS: Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are under pressure on Tuesday after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a pause in the use of the company's COVID-19 vaccine following blood clotting cases. On the flip side, competitor Moderna's (MRNA) shares are on the rise, with the company saying that the totality of the available safety data for its COVID vaccine "does not suggest an association with cerebral venus sinus thrombosis or thrombotic events."
Ahead of Coinbase's (COIN) anticipated direct listing tomorrow, MoffettNathanson analyst Lisa Ellis initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating and $600 price target.
In SPAC news, Grab Holdings announced it intends to go public in the U.S. in partnership with Altimeter Growth (AGC) in "what is expected to be the largest-ever U.S. equity offering by a Southeast Asian company." The combined company expects its securities will be traded on NASDAQ under the symbol "GRAB" in the coming months.
Boeing (BA) reported gross orders of 196 of its bestselling 737 MAX aircraft in March. Accounting for cancellations, conversions and other order changes, it posted net positive orders of 40 planes, meaning its aircraft sales outpaced cancellations for the second month in a row in March.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Novocure (NVCR), which jumped 43% after the company was informed that the pre-specified interim analysis for the LUNAR trial would be accelerated given the length of accrual and the number of events observed to date.
Among the notable losers was AdaptHealth (AHCO), which declined 16% after Denmark authorities formally charged co-CEO Luke McGee with alleged tax fraud. Also lower was Bally's (BALY), which fell 9% after announcing that the company and Gamesys Group (JKPTF) have agreed on definitive terms by which Bally's will combine with Gamesys in a deal that values the U.K. gambling company at $2.78B. In addition, Cardlytics (CDLX) slid 9% after announcing its intent to acquire Bridg for $350M in cash.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 117.75, or 0.35%, to 33,627.65, the Nasdaq was up 76.49, or 0.55%, to 13,926.49, and the S&P 500 was up 5.79, or 0.14%, to 4,133.78.