Stocks bounced, then gave back gains Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average fighting to hold a 30-point advance, after Friday’s sell-off fueled by fears over a new coronavirus variant.
The big market benchmarks came off their early highs in the stock market today, with the Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.2%, the S&P 500 rose 0.9% and the Dow Jones industrials gained 0.2%. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 climbed 0.5%. Volume was lower on both major exchanges vs. the same time Friday, which was a half-day, post-holiday session.
Among exchange traded funds, the Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY) advanced 0.4%, after finding support last week at its 200-day moving average. The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) gained 1.2%, and the Nasdaq 100-tracking Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) also added 1.2%.
The U.S. economy continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered nationwide lockdowns more than a year-and-a-half ago. A resurgence in cases fueled by the more contagious delta variant had been slowing as vaccinations rise.
But a new coronavirus variant with a large number of mutations, first detected in South Africa, is raising concerns. It’s unclear if the B.1.1529 Covid variant, dubbed the omicron variant on Friday, is more deadly or infectious than prior strains, or whether vaccinations or prior Covid infection provide substantial protection.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 10:28 AM ET 11/29/2021
The World Health Organization noted that the omicron variant appears to have a higher risk of reinfection for people who have already had Covid-19. The WHO declared it a “variant of concern,” the first such designation since the delta variant a year ago.
However, a coronavirus adviser to the South Africa government as well as the Pretoria doctor who sounded the alarm about the omicron variant said that cases generally seem to be “mild.”
Globally, Covid-19 cases are approaching 262 million, with over 5 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., cases have topped 49 million with more than 799,000 deaths.
Covid Stocks Jump Again
The omicron news sent Covid-19 vaccine makers soaring Friday. On Monday, the stocks extended their gains.
Moderna (MRNA) vaulted more than 9% in heavy trade to its highest level in nearly two months. MRNA stock soared 20.1% on Friday for its first close above the 50-day line since Sept. 27. The biotech’s shares are about 28% off their 52-week high.
Pfizer (PFE) pared a 2% gain to 0.8%, after soaring 6% Friday to break out past a 51.96 buy point of a cup base. Shares are at the top of the buy range, which tops out at 54.56. Pfizer’s 98 Composite Rating leads IBD’s 30-stock ethical drug maker group. Pfizer was featured Friday as the IBD Stock Of The Day.
Covid vaccine partner BioNTech (BNTX) leapt more than 5% early Monday, before halving its gain to 2.6%. On Friday, the German biotech gapped up and soared 14%.
Growth Stocks To Watch
Li Auto (LI) surged 10% in fast turnover to a five-month high. Shares cleared a 34.94 buy point of a cup with handle. They remain in potential buy zone up to 36.68. Ahead of the open, the China-based electric SUV maker reported strong sales results.
Xpeng Motors (XPEV), another China electric vehicle maker, rose 5% in heavy trade. Shares are extended past a 48.08 buy point of a consolidation, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. Xpeng and Nio (NIO) are likely to release November delivery figures later this week.
Among U.S. EV stocks, Tesla (TSLA) rallied nearly 5% Monday, on track for a rebound after Friday’s 3% drop. TSLA stock remains sharply above a 764.55 buy point in a cup with handle, as well as earlier entries at 700.10 and 730. The chart also showed an alternate entry at 900.50.
Lucid Motors (LCID) climbed 2.5% Monday in twice normal volume, also aiming to bounce back from a Friday decline. LCID stock remains far extended past a 28.49 buy point in a cup-with-handle base.
Twitter (TWTR) jumped 5% in huge volume amid reports that co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey may be planning to step down. It’s unclear when and why — or who could replace him, according to CNBC. Dorsey is also CEO of payments company Square (SQ).
TWTR stock, which had fallen to 10-month lows last week, remains well below its 50-day and 200-day lines. It’s about 40% off its 52-week highs.
Dow Jones Movers
But Microsoft, up 2.6% in heavy volume, is trading just shy of record highs. On Oct. 18, Microsoft stock broke out past a 305.94 buy point of a flat base. The 5% buy zone topped out at 321.24, so the stock is extended.
Apple, which halted a nine-day win streak on Friday, is back in buy range from a 153.27 entry of a cup with handle. The buy zone tops out at 160.93. Apple shares were up 2% in fast trade on Monday.
Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo
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