August 11, 2020

Bill Hastie |

A very mixed day on Wall Street yesterday with the Dow and S&P 500 extending their strong performance last week with their seventh straight day of gains.  This gain puts the S&P 500 to within 0.97% of its record set in February.  Tech stocks weighed heavily on the NASDAQ for its second consecutive negative day.  At the close, the Dow and S&P 500 gained 357.96 and 9.19 points, or 1.3% and 0.27%, respectively.  The NASDAQ dropped 42.63 points, or -0.39%.

The Russell 2000, an index measuring small capitalization stocks, gained 0.99% for its second consecutive day of gains.  Six of 11sectors in the Russell 2000 finished the day positive led by energy, which gained 3.08%.

Dow futures are making a major move this morning, up more than 300 points, after local news agencies reported Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the country has given regulatory approval for the world’s first COVID 19 vaccine.  While skepticism over the Russian President’s claim grows, the news triggered optimism from investors about the global race to develop and produce a successful vaccine.

“Markets are looking forward to better days ahead,” said Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist at LPL Financial.  Although the timing is uncertain, the stock market is expressing confidence that the pandemic will end eventually with a vaccine – or multiple vaccines - and with help from better treatments in the interim.”