Friday, 26 Feb 2021

Stock market news live updates: Stock futures pull back after rally

Stock futures fell Wednesday morning, pulling back from record levels.

The three major indices posted a strong start to December, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rising more than 1.1% each on Tuesday to fresh closing record highs. The tech-heavy communication services and financials sectors led the day’s advances in the S&P 500, as tech stocks rejoined the rally after cyclical and value stocks led November’s gains.

Tuesday morning, Salesforce.com (CRM) lagged in the Dow and led index futures’ more than 100-point decline. The stock fell more than 5.6% in early trading after the company announced it would be purchasing workplace messaging software company Slack (WORK) in a deal valued at $27.7 billion, confirming a week’s worth of media reports over the tie-up. The announcement coincided with Salesforce’s third-quarter earnings results, which topped estimates, though its fourth-quarter profit guidance disappointed.

Despite Wednesday’s pause, investors have so far kept cheering upbeat developments around the approval and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, with both Pfizer and Moderna having filed for emergency use authorization for the vaccines with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vice President Mike Pence told governors on Tuesday that some doses of the vaccine could start being distributed as early as the middle of this month, according to CBS News. Many health experts expect widespread distribution of the vaccines will take place mid-next year.

In the meantime, Americans continue to contend with the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout it has produced. Still, congressional lawmakers and administration officials appear far from reaching a consensus over the size and scope of an additional fiscal stimulus package that could held cushion the economic blow from the virus. A group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers unveiled a $908 billion stimulus proposal on Tuesday, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has favored a smaller relief bill, rejected the proposal, according to CNBC.

Equity investors, however, have so far mostly looked through the ongoing tug-of-war for more stimulus out of Washington.

“Without any sort of fiscal stimulus over the coming months, I think the economic slowdown, the quote-unquote double dip recession or pullback as some have called it, becomes more likely,” Ross Mayfield, Baird investment strategy analyst, told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “But we’ve seen all year that the stock market can look past some economic damage on the ground if the outlook is bright in the future, and that’s what the vaccine has provided.”

“I do think that any kind of positioning in stocks has to be made knowing the stock market will look out past April, May when the vaccine is fully available,” he added.

8:15 a.m. ET: Private payroll growth decelerates, misses expectations: ADP

U.S. private sector employers added back fewer jobs than expected in November, with the coronavirus pandemic still exerting pressure on the labor market even as optimism over a vaccine and broader economic reopening come into view.

Private payrolls increased by 307,000 in November, according to ADP’s monthly jobs report, following an upwardly revised gain of 404,000 in October. This marked the seventh straight month of net payrolls gains after the coronavirus pandemic spurred historic job losses in March and April.

Consensus economists had been looking for private payrolls to rise by 430,000 in November, according to Bloomberg data.

7:18 a.m. ET Wednesday: Stocks point to a lower open

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:18 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,653.25, down 7.25 points or 0.2%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 29,690.00, down 114 points or 0.38%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12,433.25, down 19 points or 0.19%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.18 (-0.40%) to $44.37 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$7.10 (+0.39%) to $1,826.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.6 bps to yield 0.918%

6:02 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures open mixed

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:02 p.m. ET Tuesday evening:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,662.75, up 2.25 points or 0.06%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 29,771.00, down 33 points or 0.11%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12,466.75, up 14.5 points or 0.12%

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