At 1 p.m. today, November 18, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 0.05% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 0.06%. Supporting even these meagre gains was positive news from Pfizer (PFE) that it had concluded trials of its coronavirus vaccine and would be submitting an application for an Emergency Use Authorization to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration within a few days. With a view that a vaccine would mean an end to economic shutdowns, re-opening dependent stocks such as American Airlines (AAL) and Six Flags (SIX) were up as of 1 p.m. New York time by 3.11% and 0.82%, respectively.
By the close of the day’s session, however, news of a continuing rise tide of infections and announcements of more closings around the country–maybe the biggest was the decision by New York City to close all its public schools for in-person learning starting on Thursday–had extinguished most of the earlier upward momentum. The S&P 500 ended the day down 1.16% and the Dow finished off the same 1.16%. The NASDAQ Composite dropped 0.82% on the day and the Russell 2000 closed 1.06% lower.
Big techs showed a decided move to the downside by the close. Apple (AAPL), for example, moved from down 0.11% at 1 p.m. to a loss of 1.14% at the close. Microsoft (MSFT) went from down 0.70% to a closing loss of 1.32%. Qualcomm (QCOM), perhaps, showed the biggest turnaround going from a gain of 1.94% at 1 p.m. to a loss of 1.14% at the close.
But even more startling was the turnaround in those re-opening stocks. By the close that 3.11% gain in shares of American Airlines had edged down to just 0.31%. Sis Flags went from the 0.82% gain to a loss of 1.14% by the close. Shake Shack (AHAK) sa almost all of its 1 p.m. ain of 2.90% disappear by th close with the stock up just 0.13% for the session. Wells Fargo (WFC) went from ump 1.92%to jp just 0.04%.
So far, this week is developing following much the same pattern as last week with positive days early in the week on vaccine news turning into weakness as we moved toward Friday.