Equities south of the border began a holiday-shortened week Monday crawling back from spectacular initial highs, in the wake of U.S. President Joe Biden’s re-nomination of Jerome Powell to head the Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones Industrials hesitated from its triple-digit highs of the day, before making do with a gain of 17.27 points to 35,619.25.
The S&P 500 index turned into the red 15.02 points to 4,682.94, backing off from an intraday record. The NASDAQ Composite cratered 202.68 points, or 1.3%, to 15,854.76.
Powell, a former private equity executive, slashed interest rates to near zero and implemented emergency asset purchases in March 2020 to help backstop the market during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the financial system to remain operational during a sharp slowdown in economic activity.
He also led a landmark re-evaluation of the Fed’s inflation targeting framework during the COVID crisis.
Bank stocks and Treasury yields moved higher after the White House announced the Fed decision. Shares of JPMorgan rose 2.7% while Morgan Stanley rose more than 3%. The move higher in rates appeared to take a bite out of some tech stocks, whose future earnings are less attractive to investors when yields are higher.
Elsewhere, Tesla shares rallied, gaining more than 4% after CEO Elon Musk said the electric vehicle maker’s Model S Plaid could be launched in China by the spring of 2022.
Moderna shares continued their upward momentum, rising 4.8% in early trading after the Food and Drug Adminisration last week cleared the company’s booster shot for all U.S. adults.
On the downside, Activision Blizzard dropped 2.1% following reports that CEO Bobby Kotick said he would consider resigning if he can’t fix the company’s culture. That news came following reports that Kotick was aware of sexual misconduct within the organization. The NASDAQ was hurt by declines in Netflix and Etsy.
U.S. markets will be closed Thursday on Thanksgiving Day. The stock market closes early at 1 p.m. ET on Friday.
Prices for 10-year Treasurys plunged, raising yields to 1.63% from Friday’s 1.54%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices regained 41 cents to $76.35 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices plummeted $45.80 to $1,817.10 U.S. an ounce.