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Stock Market News for May 27, 2020

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The three major indexes closed in the green on Tuesday, as investors remained hopeful about coronavirus vaccine and that economies around the globe were recovering from the pandemic-driven lockdown over the past few months. These positive developments helped overshadow U.S.-China tensions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,995.11 after rising 2.2%, the broader S&P 500 reached 2,991.77 after increasing 1.2% and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite hit 9,340.22 after inching 0.2%higher.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 5.1% to close at 26.57 on May26. Finally, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 4.91-to-1 ratio.

Human Trials of Coronavirus Vaccine Started

According to Novavax, Inc. NVAX on Tuesday, the late-stage biotechnology company began human trials of its vaccine candidate in Australia. The first phase of the placebo-controlled trials will have 135 healthy adults enrolled and the preliminary round of data from that study is expected to be released in July this year. Shares of Novavax rose 4.5% on May 26.

In addition, Merck & Co., Inc. MRK also said that it was working on two potential vaccines and an experimental drug against the novel coronavirus. The company said on May 26 that it was acquiring an experimental vaccine as part of the purchase of its Austrian maker, while partnering in the progress of a second vaccine candidate and the probable drug. Shares of Merck rose 1.2% on May 26.

US-China Relations Are Troubled

Tension prevailed between the United States and China over Hong Kong, where protests have started again. President Donald Trump on Tuesday expressed his displeasure over China’s efforts to take power in Hong Kong. According to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on May 26, the President believes "it's hard to see how Hong Kong can remain a financial hub if China takes over."

The issue over Hong Kong also adds to U.S.-China tensions over the trade deal and the United State’s dissatisfaction over China’s handling of the pandemic.

Economic News

On May 26, the Conference Board reported a comeback in consumer confidence among Americans for May. The index improved to 86.6 in May, marking an increase from 85.7 in April. In fact, this is the first time the index rose since its decline in March and the month after.

Sales of new single-family houses in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000, according to estimates released jointly on May 26 by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.6% above the revised March rate of 619,000, but is 6.2% below the April 2019 estimate of 664,000.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Keysight Q2 Earnings Miss Estimates, Shares Down

Keysight Technologies, Inc. KEYS delivered second-quarter fiscal 2020 non-GAAP earnings of 78 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 22%. (Read more)

Amazon Boosts India Presence with New Jobs Amid Coronavirus

Amazon AMZN is leaving no stone unturned to bolster presence in India. (Read more)

EQT Corp. Slashes Q2 Output View, Closes Asset Divestment

EQT Corporation EQT recently trimmed its second-quarter production guidance. (Read more)

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