Stocks futures were mixed Thursday as the market contends with rising virus cases.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average point to a 183 point loss, or 0.6% to 29,118. The S&P 500 was indicated at a loss of 0.3%, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite positioned to rise 0.2%. The FAANG stock group was up a touch, but semiconductor names were carrying the Nasdaq, with the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) up 0.5%. The 10-Year Treasury yield fell to 0.94% from 0.98%.
Investors have digested that a Covid-19 vaccine may be approved for use this year and that state reopenings could accelerate, but there are questions regarding distribution logistics around the vaccine as well as the portion of the population willing to take a vaccine. Between October 28 and November 11, the S&P 500 gained 9.3% in a rally lead by stocks that benefit greatly from a strengthening economy and continued reopenings.
Against this, virus cases are ticking up. The 7-day moving average of new daily cases in the U.S. is just under 130,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins, the highest it has ever been. Reopening stocks were down. United Airlines (UAL) fell 2.8%. Darden Restaurants (DRI) fell 0.5%.
Department stores, which still rely mainly on foot traffic for sales, saw their shares fall. TJX (TJX) fell 1.3%. “Off-Price retail continued to face the most significant headwinds within our coverage as increasing covid cases pressure traffic in physical locations throughout the third quarter,” wrote analyst at Wedbush Securities Jen Redding in a note.
Here were some of the biggest movers on Thursday:
Salesforce (CRM) fell 1.37% after analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to equal-weight from overweight.
ServiceNow (NOW) has gained 3.1% after getting upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.
Chinese internet company Pinduoduo (PDD) rose 22% after beating earnings estimates. The company reported earnings per share of 33 cents against estimates for a loss of $1.03.
Xpeng Motors (XPEV) shares rose 6.2% after the company posted a solid earnings report. The company reported a loss of 16 cents a share, beating forecasts for a loss of 18 cents a share, on sales $293 million, better than the $284 projection.
PG&E (PCG) shares rose 2.2% to $10.95 after Wolfe Research upgraded the stock to outperform from peer perform.
Write to Jacob Sonenshine at Jacob.Sonenshine@barrons.com