Quinnipiac poll shows voters flip to now favor Biden on economy
A new Quinnipiac poll shows that voters now favor former vice president Joe Biden on the economy, a reversal from June when President Donald Trump was seen as stronger. The poll also has Biden widening his lead to 15 points in the presidential race, to 52% over 37% among registered voters. Voters said 50% to 45% that Biden is better at handling the economy over Trump, compared to Trump’s lead of 51% to 46% in June. Trump’s approval rating also fell to 36%, down six percentage points from June. – Patti Domm
Stocks close: Dow rises 200 points for its fourth day of gains
U.S. equities closed higher on Wednesday as investors cheered positive vaccine data and strong earnings from Goldman Sachs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 228 points, or 0.86%. The S&P 500 jumped 0.9%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%, dragged down by losses in Amazon and Netflix. — Maggie Fitzgerald
Final hour of trading: Dow heads for 4-day winning streak
The Dow was on pace to post a four-day winning streak on Wednesday as positive coronavirus vaccine news and strong Goldman Sachs earnings pushed the broader market higher. The 30-stock Dow was up 100 points, or 0.4%, with less than an hour left of trading. The S&P 500 traded 0.6% higher and the Nasdaq climbed 0.2%. To be sure, the major averages were well off their session highs as shares of major tech companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet and Microsoft declined. —Fred Imbert
U.S. business activity picking up, but outlook remains ‘uncertain,’ says Federal Reserve
Business activity is beginning to pick up as the economy starts to reopen, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve released Wednesday. But activity still remains below pre-pandemic levels. “Economic activity increased in almost all Districts, but remained well below where it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said. “Outlooks remained highly uncertain, as contacts grappled with how long the COVID-19 pandemic would continue and the magnitude of its economic implications.” The report is based on data collected between the end of May and July 6. – Pippa Stevens
Beyond Meat jumps on expansion
Shares of Beyond Meat jumped more than 5% on Wednesday after the company said it will begin selling its plant-based products in Brazil, according to a report from Reuters. The alternative meat maker’s products will appear in 19 grocery stores in the capital city of Sao Paulo. Shares are up 77% this year. – Pippa Stevens
Big Tech showing signs of ‘fatigue,’ analyst says
Jason Goepfert, of Sundial Capital Research said in a post the major technology stocks — which have been the stalwarts during the coronavirus pandemic — are showing signs of “fatigue” following their massive run-up. “The run in these stocks has been historic, and the momentum in many stocks underlying the move in the indexes is waning,” said Goepfert. “Combined with reversals in some of them as we saw on Monday, it’s a yellow flag.” Wall Street suffered a sharp downside reversal Monday that was sparked by a big turnaround in tech stocks such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Netflix. —Fred Imbert
CFRA downgrades Facebook to hold from buy
CFRA downgraded Facebook to hold from buy in midday trading on Wednesday and said it sees “greater risk” to the company. Analyst John Freeman wrote that Facebook faces “PR-related threats now on multiple fronts.” Those include “aggressive antitrust enforcement, new laws regarding social media content liability, rolling advertiser boycotts, user defection, and CEO Zuckerberg’s questionable ability to handle these types of threats,” he said. The firm added it thinks the company has “tremendous long-term potential.” Shares of Facebook are down 2% this week. — Michael Bloom
Strong market breadth even as indexes cut gains
The major averages traded off their session highs, but a look underneath the surface provides a more positive picture for the market. FactSet data showed 2,444 stocks in the New York Stock Exchange were trading higher while just 447 were down. —Fred Imbert
Stocks making the biggest moves midday
Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises — Shares of cruise lines soared after Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine produced a “robust” immune response, raising hopes for a faster reopening. Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line soared 11% and shares of Carnival Corp. surged 9%. Royal Caribbean gained more than 14%.
Gap — Shares of the retailer jumped 8.9% after RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock to outperform from sector perform. The Wall Street firm said the company will benefit from “secular tailwinds” and a decrease in fixed costs in a post-pandemic world.
PVH Corp – Shares of PVH jumped more than 5% after the apparel maker said it is shutting down 162 retail stores and cutting 450 jobs in North America, or 12% of its workforce, due to the impact of Covid-19 on apparel sales. The company said the move will save about $80 million annually.
Markets at midday: Dow and S&P 500 rise on Moderna and Goldman news
The Dow and S&P 500 were higher in midday trading as news from Moderna on its coronavirus vaccine candidate lifted expectations of a quicker economic recovery. The Dow traded 60 points higher, or 0.2%, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.1%. Goldman Sachs also rose more than 1% to contribute to the gains. The Nasdaq Composite, however, traded lower as shares of major tech companies were under pressure. —Fred Imbert
Stocks cut gains as Big Tech lags
The major U.S. stock averages were off their highs in late-morning trading as some of the big tech companies underperformed. The Dow, which popped more than 400 points earlier, was up 243 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up 0.8% and 0.3%, respectively. Amazon slid more than 2% while Netflix dropped 1.8%. Alphabet shares dipped 0.6%. Facebook, Microsoft and Apple were up marginally, however. —Fred Imbert
Shares of Goldman Sachs off its high
Goldman Sachs last traded up 1.3% on Wednesday, coming off its earlier gains of 5.5%. The move lower came after Goldman CEO David Solomon said that trading activity had cooled off in recent weeks after a spike during the second quarter. “We’ve not seen the same level of activity over the course of the last five or six weeks” he said. The bank said its second-quarter bond trading revenue surged almost 150% to $4.24 billion, and equities trading revenue rose 46% to $2.94 billion. — Yun Li, Hugh Son
Morgan Stanley raises price target on Netflix to $575 from $485
Morgan Stanley reiterated its overweight rating on Wednesday morning on Netflix and said that “scale is a strategic advantage” for the streaming giant. The firm raised its price target on the stock to $575 from $485. “Beyond a pull-forward of net additions from consumers being stuck at home will be the combined structural benefits from 1) greater scale and all the operational and financial benefits that brings, 2) an acceleration in engagement growth even in its most mature markets, and 3) pressure on its primary competition for audience time – incumbent TV broadcasters around the world,” analyst Benjamin Swinburne said. The company will report second-quarter earnings on Thursday after the bell. Shares of the company are down 5% this week.— Michael Bloom
Bank of America expects fundamentals to drive Apple stock higher
Bank of American raised its price target on Apple to $410 from $390 on Wednesday morning and said it sees the stock continue on its upward trajectory. “While near term data points are getting more constructive, we also think positioning has a significant role in the near term price action,”analyst Wamsi Mohan said. “We think that investors are viewing AAPL as (1) a liquid investment to weather an uncertain environment, (2) a tech “story” stock with a catalyst of 5G, (3) a large cap tech name relatively less exposed to the regulatory risks (including recent EU tax related litigation win), (4) a beneficiary of passive inflows, and (5) an alternative to low rates,” he said. Apple stock is up 3% this week.— Michael Bloom
Travel stocks soaring after vaccine news
Investors bought travel stocks on Wednesday morning amid renewed optimism for a Covid-19 vaccine. TripAdvisor and Expedia surged 9.4% and 7.8%, respectively, while hotel stock Hilton jumped 6.2%. Casino stocks climbed as well, with MGM Resorts jumping nearly 8%. — Jesse Pound
Dow jumps more than 300 points at the open
The U.S. market opened sharply higher, with the Dow rising roughly 358 points, or 1.3%, in the opening minutes. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rose 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively. — Jesse Pound
Bank stocks climb after Goldman results
Shares of major U.S. banks rose in premarket trading Wednesday on the heels of Goldman’s blowout second-quarter results and positive vaccine news from Moderna. Shares of Goldman gained 6%, while Morgan Stanley rose 4.5%. Citigroup, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, which have already reported their earnings, also moved higher. — Jesse Pound
Here are Wednesday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Apple, Moderna, Western Digital, Gap, & more
- RBC upgraded Gap to outperform from sector perform.
- Evercore ISI initiated Boston Beer as outperform.
- Bernstein initiated Western Digital as outperform.
- Evercore ISI upgraded Wells Fargo to outperform from in-line.
- JPMorgan downgraded American Express to underweight from neutral.
- Piper Sandler raised its price target on Moderna to $134 from $100.
- Needham raised its price target on Apple to $450 from $350.
PRO subscribers can read more here. — Michael Bloom
Moderna vaccine data ‘impresses’ Wall Street
Goldman said in a note that the data released by Moderna about its vaccine candidate ‘impresses’ and pointed out that the druge, by one measure, produced a stronger immunity response after 57 days than a sample of patients who had Covid-19. Piper Sandler analysts was also encouraged by the data and raised its price target to $134 per share from $100. The firm said in a note that “based on an assumed price of $75, we could see ~$18 billion in … revenues” from the vaccine. — Jesse Pound
Goldman moving higher after earnings beat
Shares of Goldman Sachs rose 4% after strong trading results fueled a better-than-expected second quarter. The bank earned $6.26 a share in the second quarter on revenue of $13.3 billion, which was 41% more than a year ago and Goldman’s second-highest quarterly revenue on record. Wall Street analysts expected earnings of $3.78 per share and $9.75 billion of revenue, according to Refinitiv. — Hugh Son, Jesse Pound
Reopening stocks surge following vaccine news
Market rises following Moderna vaccine data release
Positive data from trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate from Moderna boosted the market, with the Dow futures up 500 points. Shares of Moderna jumped 18% in premarket trading. The company said on Tuesday night that its drug produced neutralizing antibodies in all 45 patients during an early stage trial. Going by the move in the futures, the S&P 500 will likely go back into the green for 2020. It was down 1% for the year heading into Wednesday.— Jesse Pound