Stocks open slightly higher with the Nasdaq jumping to a record

Stocks open slightly higher with the Nasdaq jumping to a record

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stocks were marginally higher Tuesday following a broad-based rally on news that U.S. regulators granted full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 43 points. The S&P 500 added 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4% after touching an intraday record high and hitting 15,000 for the first time ever.

Chinese stocks led the Nasdaq as investors have been getting more clarity on China’s regulatory outlook and buying shares of names that have taken a beating lately. Pinduoduo jumped 22% while Tencent Music Entertainment and Didi climbed 13% and rose 14%.

On Tuesday afternoon the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it plans to demand U.S.-traded Chinese companies disclose political and regulatory risks to investors, an extension of recently imposed requirements for firms seeking initial public offerings. Corporations could begin including the enhanced disclosures in their annual reports as early as next year, according to a Bloomberg report.

Shares of vaccine makers pulled back Tuesday. Pfizer and BioNTech were 2% and 4% lower, respectively. Moderna fell 5% and Trillium Therapeutics, which surged about 180% Monday on news it would be acquired by Pfizer, was slightly lower too by 0.39%.

Travel stocks extended their rally from Monday, with several airline and cruise stocks rising between 3% and 5% Tuesday. Casino operators Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts were also higher by 7%, after Macau eased travel restrictions with the improvement of the Covid-19 case outlook in China’s Guangdong province, a key visitor source for the gambling capital.

Best Buy shares rose 9% after the electronics retailer beat estimates on the top and bottom lines for the second quarter. Nordstrom is set to report earnings after the close.

The second-quarter earnings season is winding down with more than 90% S&P 500 companies having reported results. S&P 500 is poised to grow its earnings by 94.7% year over year, according to Refinitiv.

The markets were relatively quiet as investors await the Jackson Hole symposium later this week. Meme stocks surged in the late afternoon, however, with GameStop rallying as much as 30% and AMC jumping about 20%.

Investors are eyeing the Federal Reserve’s annual central banking event in Jackson Hole, Wyo. later this week, focused on whether or not central bankers will detail their plans for tapering monetary stimulus. The Fed has started discussions to pull back its $120 billion a month bond-buying program by the end of this year.

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The summit will take place virtually on Thursday, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will give a speech on Friday.

“The Fed may make a taper announcement in September or November, but it will probably be a slow taper with no commitment over interest rate hikes,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.