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End of Day Briefing - Recap of Monday Feb. 8, 2021

Stocks close higher on stimulus hopes - makes new record highs again

The major averages on Wall Street extended further into record high territory as risk sentiment continues to be supported by expectations that a government stimulus deal will be passed soon and optimism that the U.S. and global recovery will accelerate in the second half of this year.

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no economic data of note was reported.

Data from the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering shows there are now 106.3M confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 27M in the U.S., and 2.3M deaths due to the disease, including 464,000 in the U.S.

TOP NEWS: Shares of Tesla ($TSLA) were 1.3% higher after the car maker said in a regulatory filing that it has invested an aggregate $1.5B in bitcoin under the company's updated investment policy, which now allows the company to invest in "certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future." Tesla also said in the filing that it expects to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for its products "in the near future," as long as it is allowed to do so. Following the news, the price of bitcoin shot up to a record high.

Shares of Cummins (#CMI) and Westport ($WPRT) rose a respective 3.9% and 40.6% after Reuters reported Friday that Amazon ($AMZN) ordered over 1,000 truck engines that run on compressed natural gas as it looks to get its fleet away from heavier polluting trucks. Such engines are supplied by a joint venture between Cummins and Westport, Reuters noted.

In COVID-19 news, Bloomberg reported that vaccine developers are working on a new vaccine to combat the South African strain of COVID-19 after early data suggested AstraZeneca's ($AZN) product has limited efficacy against the mild disease caused by the variant. Meanwhile, Reuters has said that South Africa will put on hold use of AstraZeneca's shot in its vaccination program.

On the earnings front, Energizer ($ENR) shares rose almost 3% after the company reported better than expected quarterly results, while Hasbro ($HAS) was more than 4% lower despite reporting upbeat quarterly earnings and revenue.

Meanwhile, Qiagen ($QGEN) shares rose 3.2% in New York after Bloomberg reported that Quidel ($QDEL) has made a preliminary approach to Qiagen to gauge interest in a potential combination. Quidel shares finished 1.7% lower following the news.

Additionally, shares of DoorDash ($DASH) fell over 2% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is acquiring robotics startup Chowbotics, whose technology can make salads and poke bowls, among other things.

The S&P 500 energy sector rallied another 4%, aided by higher oil prices ($57.97/BBL, +1.08, +1.9%) and Exxon Mobil ($XOM) receiving an upgrade to Neutral from Underperform at Exane BNP Paribas.

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Palantir ($PLTR), which rose 6% after announcing a new partnership with IBM ($IBM). Also higher was Coherent ($COHR), which gained 13.6% after MKS Instruments ($MKSI) offered to acquire the company for roughly $240 per share.

Among the notable losers was AMC Entertainment ($AMC), which declined 9.4% after it was disclosed after Friday's close that shareholder Wanda converted Class B stock into Class A to permit sales. Also lower was Ceragon Networks ($CRNT), which fell 9.1% after reporting quarterly results.

  • Russell 2000 +16.0% YTD
  • Nasdaq Composite +8.5% YTD
  • S&P 500 +4.3% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +2.6% YTD

Market Snapshot
SP 5003915.59+28.76(0.74%)
10-yr Note 0/321.168
NYSEAdv 2311 Dec 875 Vol 970.5 mln
NasdaqAdv 3048 Dec 901 Vol 8.3 bln

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

Moving the Market

-- Record-setting session for all four major indices

-- Growth optimism, positive momentum

-- Treasury Secretary Yellen said economy can reach full employment in 2022 if stimulus bill is passed

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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