Markets Mixed as Investors Weigh Data, Vaccine News…..

U.S. equities finished the first trading day of the week mixed amid pressure from the Financials and Energy sectors, while a modest reversal to the upside in Information Technology issues kept losses in check. Caution may have set in ahead of one of the busiest weeks for earnings season and as the Federal Reserve is set to deliver its first monetary policy decision of 2021. The markets got some favorable news regarding the fight against the rise in COVID-19 cases and variants, after Moderna announced that its vaccine appears to hold efficacy against the variants first found in the U.K. and South Africa. In other equity news, Kimberly-Clark posted positive Q4 and guidance, and AMC Entertainment said imminent bankruptcy risks are off the table after recent capital raising efforts. In light economic news, Dallas manufacturing output unexpectedly slowed but remained in expansion territory. Treasuries gained ground to apply downside pressure to yields and the U.S. dollar ticked higher, while gold finished little changed in choppy trading and crude oil prices notched higher. Europe finished lower, hamstrung by weakness in Financials and Energy, while markets in Asia were also lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 37 points (0.1%) to 30,960, the S&P 500 Index was up 14 points (0.4%) at 3,855, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 93 points (0.7%) to 13,636. In heavy volume, 1.2 billion shares were traded on the NYSE and 7.0 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil gained $0.50 to $52.77 per barrel. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price inched $0.15 lower to $1,855.46 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—ticked 0.2% higher to 90.37.

Treasuries were higher, as the rate on the 2-year note was little changed at 0.12%, while the yield on the 10-year note declined 5 basis points (bps) to 1.03% and the 30-year bond rate decreased 6 bps to 1.80%.

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