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End of Day Briefing - Recap of Monday Nov. 30, 2020

Stocks close lower as strong November for the market comes to a close

Stocks had a quiet end to a strong November as profit taking weighed somewhat on U.S. equities. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden announced members of his economic team, including Janet Yellen as his nominee to be Secretary of the Treasury. Yellen took to Twitter to say: "We face great challenges as a country right now. To recover, we must restore the American dream-a society where each person can rise to their potential and dream even bigger for their children. As Treasury Secretary, I will work every day towards rebuilding that dream for all."

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Dallas Fed manufacturing index dropped back 7.8 points to 12.0 in November, which was a little weaker than projected. The Chicago PMI fell another 2.9 points to 58.2 in November. An index of pending home sales dipped 1.1% to 128.9 in October.

TOP NEWS: Shares of Moderna ($MRNA) surged 20.2% after the company announced that the primary efficacy analysis of the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, conducted on 196 cases confirms the high efficacy observed at the first interim analysis, indicating a vaccine efficacy of 94.1%. The company added that it will submit for an Emergency Use Authorization with the U.S. FDA and an application for Conditional Marketing Authorization with the European Medicines Agency for the vaccine.

In other COVID-19 news, the FDA has granted Roche ($RHHBY) an Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 test Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S, intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection.

Nikola ($NKLA) shares dropped 26.9% after the company and General Motors ($GM) announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, with the latter no longer taking an equity stake in the electric-truck maker. GM still intends to provide Nikola with fuel-cell technology but has scrapped plans to build an electric pickup truck named the Badger for the startup. Following the news, Nikola filed a prospectus supplement relating to the issuance of up to an aggregate of up to 23.89M shares of common stock.

Meanwhile, shares of Facebook ($FB) were fractionally lower after the company confirmed that it has agreed to acquire Kustomer, a "top-rated" CRM that enables businesses to effectively manage all customer interactions across channels. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported that big tech firms like Facebook and Google ($GOOGL) are in the crosshairs of federal and state antitrust regulators this week as authorities prepare new lawsuits against the companies. Apple ($AAPL) and Amazon ($AMZN) are also being scrutinized by antitrust regulators, according to the Journal.

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was GameStop ($GME), which gained 3% amid Cyber Monday, during which the retailer is offering deals on many video game products. Also higher was S&P Global ($SPGI), which rose just over 3% after it agreed to an all-stock merger agreement with IHS Markit ($INFO), valuing IHS at $44B.

Among the notable losers was Kandi Technologies ($KNDI), which sunk 28.3% after Hindenburg Research said in a new short report that the company is a "brazen scheme" that falsifies revenue using fake sales to undisclosed affiliates. Also lower was New Jersey Resources ($NJR), which fell 9.4% after reporting quarterly results.

  • Nasdaq Composite +36.0% YTD
  • S&P 500 +12.1% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +9.1% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.9% YTD

Market Snapshot
SP 5003621.65-16.72(-0.46%)
10-yr Note 0/320.845
NYSEAdv 953 Dec 2116 Vol 1.9 bln
NasdaqAdv 1325 Dec 2258 Vol 7.5 bln

Industry Watch
Strong: Information Technology, Health Care
Weak: Energy, Financials, Utilities

Moving the Market

-- Profit-taking interest in the energy sector and other cyclical parts of market

-- Moderna (MRNA) provided another encouraging vaccine update

-- Relative strength in the technology and health care sectors

Disclosure: I may trade in the ticker symbols mentioned, both long or short. My articles represent my personal opinion and analysis and should not be taken as investment advice. Readers should do their own research before making decisions to buy or sell securities. Trading and investing include risks, including loss of principal.

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