Dow, S&P slip as de Blasio warns New York City could be shut down

U.S. equity markets ended the session mixed after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned the city could see a full shutdown in the weeks ahead due to a surge in COVID-19 infections and as OPEC cut its oil demand forecast.

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 29861.55 -184.82 -0.62%
SP500 S&P 500 3647.49 -15.97 -0.44%
XLE ENERGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 39.68 -1.44 -3.50%

“We’re seeing the kind of level of infection with the coronavirus we haven’t seen since May and we have got to stop that momentum – or else our hospital system will be threatened,” de Blasio told CNN. Separately, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the city is rolling back to Phase 2, Step 2 effective Wednesday, which will close gyms and fitness centers, along with theaters and museums, for around three weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down over 186 points or 0.62%, paring an early gain of as much as 270 points that came as the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines were delivered and as bipartisan stimulus deal talks showed signs of progress.

The S&P 500 also fell, ending 0.44% lower as energy stocks tumbled after OPEC trimmed its 2021 demand forecast by 350,000 barrels per day. The cartel sees demand rising by 5.9 million bpd next year to 95.89 million.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 12440.040048 +62.17 +0.50%
ZM ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS INC. 395.99 -1.02 -0.26%
TSLA TESLA INC. 639.83 +29.84 +4.89%

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outperformed, rising 0.5%, as stay-ay-home stocks like Zoom Technologies pared their early losses.

Tesla Inc., which will be added to the S&P 500 on Friday, was among the index’s leaders.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PFE PFIZER INC. 39.21 -1.91 -4.64%
BNTX BIONTECH SE 108.27 -19.03 -14.95%

In vaccine news, a health care worker in New York state on Monday became the first American to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 immunization.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FDX FEDEX CORPORATION 285.54 -3.93 -1.36%
UPS UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC. 166.62 -1.78 -1.06%

The vaccine will be delivered by FedEx Corp. to 145 U.S. hospitals Monday, followed by another 425 on Tuesday and 66 on Wednesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told FOX Business 100 million people could be vaccinated by February.

The rollout comes amid chatter that negotiations surrounding a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package could restart after President Trump signed a bill that temporarily funds the government.

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In mergers and acquisitions, British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC agreed to buy U.S. biotech Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $39 billion cash and stock. Alexion shareholders will receive a 45% premium to Friday’s closing price.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AZN ASTRAZENECA PLC 50.03 -4.24 -7.81%
ALXN ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS INC. 156.31 +35.33 +29.20%

Private-equity firm Vista Partners agreed to buy learning-software company Pluralsight Inc. for $3.5 billion cash, or a 25% premium to where shares settled on Friday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PS PLURALSIGHT INC 20.19 +1.21 +6.38%

Electronic Arts Inc. swooped in to buy U.K.-based racing game developer Codemasters in a $1.4 billion deal a month after rival Take-Two Interactive struck a $971 million agreement.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
EA ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. 137.54 +1.74 +1.28%
TTWO TAKE TWO 195.20 +4.99 +2.62%

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Elsewhere, Virgin Galactic Inc. shares were sharply lower after the company’s test flight conducted on Saturday failed to reach space as planned. The company said a rocket motor did not fire due to the ignition sequence not completing.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SPCE VIRGIN GALACTIC HOLDINGS INC. 26.47 -5.57 -17.38%

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude, in a choppy session, rose 0.42 cents to $46.99 per barrel, while gold slid $11.10 to $1,828.70 an ounce.

European markets were mixed with Germany’s DAX 40 climbing 0.83%, France’s CAC 30 gaining 0.37% and Britain’s FTSE 100 falling up 0.23%.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.44% while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.3% and China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 0.66%.