Stocks shake off US-China tensions, focus on coronavirus vaccine progress

Tech stocks will continue to lead markets: Investment strategist

Money Map Press chief investment strategist Shah Gilani, Constellation Research founder Ray Wang and Lee Munson of Portfolio Wealth Advisors provide insight into investing, markets and tech stocks.

U.S. equity markets reversed early losses Wednesday as investors looked past renewed tensions between the U.S. ordered China and focused on progress towards a coronavirus vaccine.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points, or 0.09 percent while the S&P 500 added 0.16 percent and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES26883.8+43.40+0.16%
SP500S&P 5003264.29+6.99+0.21%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10718.70767+38.34+0.36%

The U.S. government has reached a $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 100 million doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine after it receives regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration. A Phase 2b/3 trial of the experimental vaccine, with human participants, is scheduled to begin later this month and will be ready for regulatory review as early as October 2020.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PFEPFIZER INC.37.61+0.92+2.51%
BNTXBIONTECH99.90+8.30+9.06%

Meanwhile, the U.S. goverment ordered China to close its consulate in Houston in order to protect intellectual property and private information. After the eviction order, Chinese officials were seen burning documents, according to local reports. Beijing has vowed to retaliate.

China-based companies, including Alibaba, JD.com and Weibo lagged the broader market as tensions between Washington and Beijing flared.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BABAALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD253.42-4.48-1.74%
JDJD.COM INC62.13-0.48-0.77%
WBWEIBO CORPORATION34.79-1.43-3.95%

Looking at earnings, United Airlines posted a quarterly loss of $1.6 billion as operating revenue plunged 87 percent from a year ago. Over 6,000 employees have taken severance packages after the company announced earlier this month that up to 36,000 workers could be furloughed.

TESLA NEEDS TO PROVE ITS WORTH AFTER ELECTRIFYING STOCK-PRICE SURGE

Snap Inc. shares were sharply lower after the social-media company reported its net loss rose 28 percent from a year ago and its number of global daily active users fell short of Wall Street estimates.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.32.45-0.62-1.89%
SNAPSNAP INC.22.75-1.99-8.02%

Elsewhere, Best Buy said quarter-to-date sales were up 2.5 percent, bolstered by a 225 percent surge in online sales. The electronics retailer began allowing customers to shop without an appointment starting on July 15.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BBYBEST BUY99.04+8.76+9.70%

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Las Vegas Sands, Microsoft and Tesla are set to report their quarterly results after the closing bell.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CMGCHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC.1,174.27+11.17+0.96%
LVSLAS VEGAS SANDS CORP47.55-0.45-0.94%
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.211.06+2.31+1.10%
TSLATESLA INC.1,599.77+31.41+2.00%

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 56 cents to $41.36 a barrel while gold spiked $12.80 to $1856.70 an ounce and silver jumped $1 to $22.57 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys ticked higher, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down by 2.3 basis points to 0.584 percent.

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European markets were lower across the board with France’s CAC pacing the decline, down 1.07 percent, while Britain’s FTSE and Germany’s DAX were weaker by 0.88 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2.25 percent and Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.58 percent while China’s Shanghai Composite bucked the trend, gaining 0.37 percent.

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