Markets closed mixed on this second-to-last Monday of 2020, but that only tells half the story. Indexes fought back heroically from pre-market news items shaking the global economy, most specifically the mutant strain of Covid-19 which is reportedly several times more infectious than the initial strain. This new strain was discovered in the south of England, which has now gone back to quarantine mode.
In fact, New York City has already ordered anyone flying into the city from the UK to prove they have tested Covid-negative. This has helped shares of companies like Delta DAL to tumble 1% or more on the day. But as details about how experts are confident that current Covid vaccine treatments should show notable efficacy in treating this new strain, markets indexes managed to buoy up.
The Dow, which had been as low as nearly -500 points 90 minutes before the opening bell, managed to eke out a 0.12% gain, making it the top major index for the day. The small-cap Russell 2000 closed just by a hair in the green, +0.02%, followed by the Nasdaq -0.10% and the S&P 500 -0.39%. It’s the second day in a row lower for the Nasdaq and S&P 500. Financials and Tech finished higher, while Energy hit the skids, on the Brent Crude Index’s worst single day since October.
Tesla TSLA spent its first day on the S&P 500 rather inauspiciously — falling 6.5% on the day. Plenty of bidding-up had been occurring for months with expectations of the S&P opening opportunities for the electric vehicle (EV) leader, but a little “sell the news” scenario joined news from Apple AAPL, which said it is working on an electric vehicle of its own. Apple said this will have brand new battery technology, and plans to deliver its first EV sometime in 2024. There are few companies in the world that might seriously have a go at Tesla’s giant lead in the EV market, but Apple is definitely one of them.
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