US stock indices closed with growth on Monday. The last week rally in US government bond yields stalled, easing investors’ concerns about the prospects of raising interest rates.
The S&P 500 jumped 90.67 points, or 2.4%, to 3901.82, the largest percentage gain in a single session since June 5 last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 603.14 points, or 1.9%, to 31,535.51, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 396.48 points, or 3%, to 13588.83.
All three indices declined last week under pressure from the plummeting tech sector. Their recovery on Monday took place against the backdrop of a decrease in the yield of 10-year US Treasury bonds (a benchmark for the cost of borrowing in world markets) from Friday 1.459% to 1.444%.
The stock market, especially the tech sector, has been hit in recent sessions by volatility in government bond markets. The rise in long-term bond yields, fueled by an improved economic outlook, makes technology stocks and other fast-growing companies less attractive to investors. Even with Monday’s gains, the Nasdaq remains 3.6% below its Feb 12 record close.
Yields on bonds soared higher last week, calling into question the prospect of continued low-interest rates that saw the rally in equities last year. In addition, the likelihood of the end of the loose monetary policy used by the Fed to fight inflation has increased.
After the House passed a $ 1.9 trillion package of measures, Biden called on the Senate for swift action over the weekend. Democrats are aiming to formalize the package by March 14, when some federal unemployment benefits are due to expire.Some investors are worried that rising government bond yields and mounting inflationary pressures could destabilize the stock market, especially in light of the expected huge federal spending as part of Biden’s stimulus package.
Meanwhile, according to data released on Monday, manufacturing activity in the US grew at the fastest pace since the start of the pandemic in February. The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) of the Institute of Supply Management for February was 60.8 points against 58.7 in January. Economists’ forecast suggested that the index will be 58.9 points. Index readings above 50 indicate increased activity.
Several Fed officials are due to speak later this week, and investors will be watching these speeches closely for signs of concern about government bond yields.
The improvement in investment sentiment was noticeable outside the United States as well. Thus, the pan-European index Stoxx Europe 600 rose by 1.8%. The growth was led by shares of retail and travel companies, whose fate depends on the recovery of economic activity.
Today Top Movers
Great Elm Group Inc (GEG) share price surged 96.52% to $6.78 in pre-market trading today.
TherapeuticsMD Inc. (TXMD) stock soared 16.26% to $1.68 in the pre-market trading.
Inuvo Inc. (AMEX: INUV) shares are trading up 20.61% at $1.58 at the time of writing.
STRATA Skin Sciences Inc. (SSKN) grew over 56.07% at $2.7 in pre-market trading today after declaring inducement grants under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
Top Upgrades & Downgrades
KeyBanc turned bullish on Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM), upgrading the stock to “Overweight” and assigning a $119.0 price target, representing a potential upside of 24.04% from Monday’s close.
Repay Holdings Corporation (RPAY) has won the favor of Wells Fargo’s equity research team. The firm upgraded the shares from Equal-Weight to Overweight and moved their price target to $29.
Morgan Stanley (MS) received an upgrade from analysts at Daiwa, who also set their one-year price target on the stock to $86. They changed their rating on MS to Outperform from Neutral in a recently issued research note.
Earlier Tuesday SVB Leerink reduced its rating on Athenex Inc. (ATNX) stock to Market Perform from Outperform and assigned the price target to $5.
JPMorgan analysts reduced their investment ratings, saying in research reports covered by the media that it’s rating for Viatris Inc. (VTRS) has been changed to Neutral from Overweight and the new price target is set at $18.
Analysts at B. Riley Securities downgraded Service Properties Trust (SVC)’s stock to Neutral from Buy Tuesday.
Latest Insider Activity
Facebook Inc. (FB) COB and CEO Zuckerberg Mark announced the sale of shares taking place on Feb 26 at $261.38 for some 44,750 shares. The total came to more than $11.7 million.
Morphic Holding Inc. (MORF) Director Omega Fund V, L.P. sold on Mar 01 a total of 2,551,555 shares at $45.93 on average. The insider’s sale generated proceeds of almost $0.32 million.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Director Kumbier Michelle declared the purchase of shares taking place on Feb 23 at $122.50 for some 2,040 shares. The transaction amount was around $0.25 million.
United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) Director Hewett Wayne M. bought on Feb 24 a total 868 shares at $159.82 on average. The purchase cost the insider an estimated $99,887.
Top US earnings releases scheduled for today include Kopin Corporation (KOPN). It will announce its Dec 2020 financial results. The company is expected to report earnings of -$0.01 per share from revenues of $21.89M in the three-month period.
Analysts expect Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (NYSE:HPE) to report a net income (adjusted) of $0.41 per share, when the company releases its quarterly results shortly. Revenue for the fiscal quarter ended Jan 2021 is predicted to come in at $9.33M.
fuboTV Inc. (FUBO), due to announce earnings after the market closes today, is expected to report earnings of -$0.73 per share from revenues of $93.94M recently concluded three-month period.