Stocks Trading Mixed After S&P, Nasdaq Hit Record Highs on Powell Nomination

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Stocks were trading mixed Monday after reaching record highs, as Wall Street reacted to President Joe Biden’s decision to nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, with Lael Brainard named as vice chair.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 254 points, or 0.72%, to 35,856, while the S&P 500 rose 0.52% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.29%.

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reached intraday record highs.

“While there’s still more to be done, we’ve made remarkable progress over the last 10 months in getting Americans back to work and getting our economy moving again,” Biden said in a statement. 

“That success is a testament to the economic agenda I’ve pursued and to the decisive action that the Federal Reserve has taken under Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard to help steer us through the worst downturn in modern American history and put us on the path to recovery.” 

Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial, said that although this decision likely wasn’t an easy one for the President, this should be greeted positively from markets.” 

“We know what we will get from Mr. Powell and this is one less worry now,” he said.

Investors are looking at a shorter week due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

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“We’re kicking off a busier-than-you-may-think Thanksgiving week in rebound mode, with the S&P 500 bouncing back from its first down week since the beginning of October,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading at E*Trade Financial. 

“And while the short trading week historically is considered sleepier than others, keep in mind that over the past 15 years the U.S. stock market has tended to gain more ground the month after Thanksgiving than the month before it.”

Based on even longer-term statistics, he said, Thanksgiving week has, on average, been anything but down time for stocks.

“So coupled with a busy economic calendar and more retail earnings, traders may have good reason to stay tuned in to the market this week,” Larkin said.

In company news, Apple  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report shares surged to a fresh record high, boosting the market value of the world’s biggest company past $2.7 trillion, as analysts look to improving iPhone 13 supply data heading into what could be a robust holiday shopping period.

Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report shares jumped after founder and CEO Elon Musk said the Model S Plaid, the car-maker’s high performance luxury sedan, will be made available in China early next year.

Activision Blizzard  (ATVI) – Get Activision Blizzard, Inc. Report fell after the Wall Street Journal reported the CEO Bobby Kotick would consider stepping down if he isn’t able to make meaningful changes to the video game maker’s workplace culture.

Pfizer  (PFE) – Get Pfizer Inc. Report shares gained after the drugmaker published impressive follow-up data from a late stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine in adolescents.

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