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NASDAQ Rises Again Ahead of Tech Earnings; Dow Drops

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New York, Jan 25 (AFP/APP): The Nasdaq jumped in early trading Monday ahead of earnings from tech giants, while the Dow fell on uncertainty about US President Joe Biden’s stimulus package and mixed Covid-19 vaccine news.

This week’s busy news calendar includes earnings reports from Apple, Microsoft and other tech giants, as well as a Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement. Results are also expected from Boeing and Chevron, among other companies. Markets are also watching the developments in Washington, where centrist lawmakers have responded skeptically to Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic relief package.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.6 percent to 30,812.25. The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 percent at 3,849.94, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.2 percent to 13,700.05, extending a rally that has lifted it to three straight records. In Covid-19 developments, Merck pulled the plug on two vaccine candidates following disappointing clinical results, while Moderna said lab studies showed its vaccine would remain protective against variants of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Merck fell 0.9 percent, while Moderna surged nearly 10 percent. GameStop soared 40.8 percent, extending a rally after an activist short-seller who claimed their shares were overvalued ended his campaign, saying investors in the video game merchant had harassed him and his family. Uber Technologies dipped 0.7 percent after it laid off some 185 people following its acquisition of Postmates.

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