Stocks downshifted on Tuesday, a day after their powerful worldwide rally, but optimism remained high that the global economy may still be headed for a return to normal. It was the second straight day that rising hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine pushed investors to reorder which stocks they see winning and losing, and the continuing revamp left the majority of US stocks higher but indexes mixed. The S&P 500 dipped 4.97 points, or 0.1%, to 3,545.53, after erasing most of an early loss. The relatively small movement, though, belied a lot of churning underneath, the AP reports. Nearly two out of three stocks in the index climbed, while losses for some of the largest and most influential technology stocks offset them. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 262.95 points, or 0.9%, to 29,420.92, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 159.93, or 1.4%, to 11,553.86.
The flashpoint for all the moves was Monday’s announcement from Pfizer that a potential COVID-19 vaccine it’s developing with German partner BioNTech may be 90% effective, based on early but incomplete test results. Several areas of the market that got beaten down through the pandemic and whose low prices make them look like potentially better values were leading the way. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rose 0.9%, for example, though they're still down nearly 45% for 2020. The Big Tech stocks that carried the stock market through the pandemic, meanwhile, are suddenly facing more scrutiny about whether they still deserve their high prices. Amazon, which is facing antitrust charges filed by European Union regulators, fell 3,5%. Microsoft fell 3.6%, and Facebook lost 3.2%
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