NEW YORK (AFP) – Boeing shares jumped on Thursday (Dec 3) as it announced its first major order of the 737 Max after a lengthy grounding, while US stocks ended little changed following mixed economic data.
Equities were in the green most of the day, but stocks weakened near the end of the session following a report that examined challenges in coronavirus vaccine supply chains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to 29,969.52.
The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.1 per cent to 3,666.72, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 per cent to 12,377.18, its second record high in three session.
Progress on coronavirus vaccines has propelled indices to records over the last week, but the market retreated following a Wall Street Journal report saying deliveries of the Pfizer/BionNTech vaccine this year would be half the level previously thought, but that the companies expect to produce more than one billion doses next year.
Markets also digested data showing slower growth in the US services sector in November and better-than-expected new unemployment claims ahead of Friday’s closely-watched Labour Department jobs report.
Investors have also monitored ongoing stimulus talks on Capitol Hill that have lifted hopes of a new spending package before the end of the year.
“In general, the market is acting rationally in looking ahead to the other side of this,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, said of the market’s strength.
But Hogan cautioned that stocks could be pressured later this month if rising US coronavirus cases stress hospital capacity, resulting in further business shutdowns.
Among individual companies, Boeing jumped 6 per cent as it sealed a deal with Irish no-frills airline Ryanair to sell 75 of 737 Max planes in the first major contract following a 20-month grounding after two deadly crashes.
Tesla was another winner, gaining 4.3 per cent after Goldman Sachs upgraded the electric car company, saying the shift towards battery electric autos “is accelerating and will occur faster than our prior view.”