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Stock Market News for Nov 19, 2020

Wall Street closed sharply lower on Wednesday on renewed threat of the latest surge in coronavirus infections. A positive news on COVID-19 vaccine front failed to lift market participants' sentiment. Investors' remained deeply concerned regarding restrictions of various economic activities in several states of the United States. All the three major stock indexes ended in negative territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.6% or 167.09 points to close at 29,438.42. Notably, 27 components of the 30-stock index ended in the red while three in green. Moreover, the Nasdaq Composite finished at 11,801.64, dropping 0.8% due to weak performance by technology stocks.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 shed  1.2% to end at 3,567.79. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) tumbled 2.9% and 2%, respectively. Notably, all eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in red.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 5% to 23.84. A total of 11.42 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, higher than the last 20-session average of 10.44 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.52-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.57-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Resurgence of Coronavirus Infections

Per the COVID Tracking Project in the United States, both new cases and hospitalizations set records, respectively, topping 163,000 and more than 79,000 on Nov 18. Total U.S. cases have crossed 11.3 million and the death toll stands at more than 247,000. New cases are rising in 50 states and territories.

Per a New York Times tracker, in the United States, both new cases and hospitalizations set records, respectively, topping 172,000 and more than 79,000 on Nov 18. Total U.S. cases have crossed 11.6 million and the death toll stands at more than 250,000. New cases are rising in 50 states and territories.

Meanwhile, on Nov 18, Pfizer Inc. PFE and BioNTech SE BNTX announced that their jointly developed potential vaccine BNT162b2 was more than 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 in trial participants with no previous evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Companies are planning to submit for Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA in next few days. Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

New Restrictions on Economic Activities

New York City, that operates the largest public school system in the United States, has decided to end in-person schooling starting Nov 19, owing to a major spike in new coronavirus cases in the city. The Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo ordered bars, restaurants and gyms to close at 10 P.M. starting Nov 13.

The mayor of Chicago advised people to stay at home or work from home, apart from essential travel and business, from Nov 16 for 30 days. California's Governor Gavin Newsom said that his administration is considering a statewide curfew owing to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Economic Data

The Department of Commerce reported that housing starts surged 4.9% in October to a seasonally adjusted 1.53 million units, surpassing the consensus estimate of 1.461 million units. September's data was revised upward from 1.415 million units reported earlier to 1.459 million units. Year over year, housing starts jumped 14.2%.

Building permits in October came in at a seasonally adjusted 1.545 million units, lagging the consensus estimate of 1.56 million units. September's data was revised downward from 1.553 million units reported earlier to 1.545 million units. Year over year, building permits rose 2.8%.

Stocks That Have Made Headline

Equinor to Boost Johan Sverdrup Crude Oil Production

Equinor ASA EQNR recently announced plans to boost crude oil from its leading Johan Sverdrup field. (Read More)

UBS Group Proceeds With Digitization, Expands Globally

In the current era of digitization, like many other big banks, UBS Group AG UBS, the Swiss investment bank is targeting to expand internationally more rigorously through its digital portfolio management system, per Reuters. (Read More)

These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.

Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.

See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>

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