November 28, 2021

Stocks struggled on Friday as concerns over a resurgence of COVID-19 weighed on global markets, though tech shares pushed higher.

The Dow Jones Industrials finished the week with a thud, losing 268.97 points to 35,601.98, or nearly 500 points on the week, or 1.4%.

The S&P 500 index lost 6.58 points to 4,697.96, still keeping intact a gain of more than 15 points, or 0.32% on the week.

The NASDAQ Composite gained 63.23 points to 16,057.44, for a pickup on the week of nearly 200 points, or 1.2%.

Markets took a hit after Austria announced earlier in the day that it would re-enter a full national lockdown due to a spike in COVID cases. Germany also unveiled Thursday more restrictions for unvaccinated people, as a fourth wave sent daily cases to a record high.

Markets moved downward anyway, though they pared back deeper declines from the morning. Shares of air carriers were among the first to drop. United Airlines fell 2.7%, while Delta fell 1%. Boeing lost 5.7%.

In other travel names, Airbnb dropped 3.8% while Booking Holdings dipped 1.5%. Expedia was also down slightly. Cruise lines were about 2% lower.

Big energy companies dominated the top decliners in the S&P 500 as demand concerns related to new lockdown orders hurt oil prices, which were already in a slump. Devon Energy and Hess fell about 6%. Baker Hughs, Diamondback Energy, and Occidental weren’t far behind, down 5%.

Meanwhile, shares of Moderna jumped nearly 5% after the Food and Drug Administration cleared its vaccine booster shot for all adults in the U.S.

But the increase in COVID cases and new restrictions in Europe is damping hopes for an immediate rebound in trans-Atlantic travel, a usually lucrative segment that is key to large carriers’ return to profitability.

More than 90% of the S&P 500 companies have handed in their financial results for the third quarter, and over 80% of them reported earnings better than Street’s expectations. S&P 500 companies are on track to grow profit by 41.5% year over year.

Tech shares broadly continued their rally as U.S. Treasury yields fell and Covid-concerned investors rotated out of banks, energy companies and other value stocks, and into super-cap tech names. Adobe and Meta Platforms were among the top gainers in the S&P 500 for much of the day, along with Nvidia. Microsoft, Apple and Google were also higher.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys jumped, lowering yields to 1.54% from Thursday’s 1.59%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices hurtled lower $2.90 to $76.11 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices skidded $12.60 to $1,848.30 U.S. an ounce.

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