Stocks edge higher with the Nasdaq jumping to a record

Stocks edge higher with the Nasdaq jumping to a record

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stocks were slightly higher Tuesday morning following a broad-based rally on news that U.S. regulators granted full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 85 points. The S&P 500 added 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5% after touching an intraday record high.

The market started the week on a high note as shares sensitive to an economic recovery jumped on optimism that the vaccine approval would clear a path for more mandates in the face of the spread of the delta variant.

“Considering the recent spike in cases and some of the disappointing economic data, this is another step in the right direction, and it helps give confidence to those who might still be holding out on getting the vaccine,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial.

Chinese stocks are leading the Nasdaq as investors have been getting more clarity on China’s regulatory outlook and buying shares of names that have taken a beating lately. Pinduoduo jumped 15% while JD.com rose 10% and Didi climbed 8.9%.

Best Buy shares rose 6% after the electronics retailer beat estimates on the top and bottom lines for the second quarter. Nordstrom is set to report earnings after the close.

Shares of vaccine makers pulled back Tuesday. Pfizer and BioNTech are 2% and 4% lower, respectively. Moderna fell 4%. Trillium Therapeutics, which surged about 180% Monday on news it would be acquired by Pfizer, is slightly lower too by 0.09%.

Still, travel stocks have extended their rally from Monday, with airlines and cruise lines broadly up some 2% to 3% higher on Tuesday. Casino operators Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are also higher by 5% and 4%, respectively, after Macau eased travel restrictions with the improvement of the Covid-19 case outlook.

The S&P 500 closed Monday’s session 0.8% higher after touching an intraday record high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose about 1.5% to hit a record closing high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 200 points on Monday.

Investor are eyeing the Jackson Hole symposium later this week, which is expected to be a market-moving event where central bankers could detail their plans for tapering monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve has started discussions to pull back its $120 billion a month bond-buying program by the end of this year.

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The summit takes place virtually on Thursday, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will give a speech on Friday.

“The Fed may make a taper announcement in September or November, but it will probably be a slow taper with no commitment over interest rate hikes.” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

The second-quarter earnings season is winding down with more than 90% S&P 500 companies having reported results. S&P 500 is poised to grow its earnings by 94.7% year over year, according to Refinitiv.

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