Booming technology companies led by some of the nation’s richest chief executives are posting stock gains Tuesday as the broader market simmers down following one of its best days during the pandemic.
As of 9:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average, which surged 600 points Monday, ticked up 20 points, or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq fell about 0.2% each.
Heading up gains in the S&P, shares of Nielsen Holdings are climbing nearly 7% after the television ratings company announced a data-sharing deal with streaming giant Roku, which will also buy Nielsen’s video-advertising business for an undisclosed amount.
Rocket Companies, on the other hand, is rallying 14% Tuesday as 10-year Treasury yields–a bellwether of investor sentiment that can have an adverse impact on mortgages (Rocket’s main business line)–continued to float well below recent highs.
Shares of Zoom are soaring 4% after the firm–led by billionaire Eric Yuan–posted revenue of nearly $2.7 billion last year and better-than-feared 2022 earnings guidance; the stock, which has floundered amid optimism over an economic recovery, is still down about 25% from an October high.
On the vaccine front, pharmaceutical giant Merck has agreed to manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s recently approved Covid vaccine in what President Joe Biden’s administration is calling a “historic” pact that should help sharply boost vaccine supplies.
Global stocks, meanwhile, are mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 closing down 0.9% Tuesday, while the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX Index tick up 1%.
$56 billion. That’s how much Dan Gilbert, the chairman of Rocket Companies is worth Tuesday morning, up about $6 billion from Monday’s close, according to Forbes.
The S&P posted its best day in nine months on Monday following the market’s biggest decline since the peak of meme-stock mayhem at the end of January. Much of what led stocks to new highs during the pandemic is still fueling market gains, with the House-passed stimulus bill preceding the latest surge. Vaccine developments, such as the Tuesday news from Merck and Johnson & Johnson, and booming corporate earnings have also buoyed investor sentiment.
Despite rallying Monday, technology stocks continue to underperform the broader market in recent weeks, with the Nasdaq down about 4% from its latest high on February 12, while the Dow and S&P are down about 1% from their February peaks.
What To Watch For
Senate Democrats are aiming to wrap up negotiations on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill by next Friday, March 12. That will leave enough time for the bill to be signed before enhanced unemployment benefits of $400 per week expire on March 14. “That timeline is certainly ambitious, but it’s doable,” Vital Knowledge Media Founder Adam Crisafulli said in a note to clients Tuesday. “It will be critical to watch Democratic leaders in the House and Senate as they attempt to reconcile their differences.”