S&P, Nasdaq rally to records ahead of Fed meeting

Novavax's COVID-19 was found to be over 90% effective

Stocks rallied to record highs Monday, finishing on their best levels of the session, as traders readied for the Federal Reserve’s upcoming meeting. 

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at all-time highs, climbing 0.18% and 0.74%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, fell 85 points, finishing 1.1% below its own record peak. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35061.55 +238.20 +0.68%
SP500 S&P 500 4411.79 +44.31 +1.01%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14836.991139 +152.39 +1.04%

The Federal Reserve will begin a two-day meeting Tuesday, and while the central bank is not expected to make any alterations to its policy, traders will be paying close attention to its language around inflation and when it may begin to taper its asset purchase program. 

MARKETS ARE LEAVING LITTLE ROOM FOR THE FED TO BE WRONG ON INFLATION

In stocks, Novavax Inc. said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was over 90% effective and that it intends to file for U.S. Food and Drug Administration during the third quarter. The vaccine, if approved, would be the fourth given the green light by U.S. regulators. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NVAX NOVAVAX INC. 203.24 -6.65 -3.17%

Elsewhere, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company will resume accepting bitcoin once there is "confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners." The electric-car maker in May stopped accepting the cryptocurrency nearly two months after allowing its use for payment.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 643.38 -5.88 -0.91%

Lordstown Motor Corp. shares were under pressure after CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez both resigned. The company said last week it may not have enough cash to begin production of its electric truck in the fall. This as Ford Motor Co. continues to report brisk orders of its all-electric F-150 truck. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
RIDE LORDSTOWN MOTORS 7.48 -0.71 -8.67%
F FORD MOTOR CO. 13.80 -0.11 -0.79%

Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell plc is considering a sale of its assets in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. oil field, as it looks to reduce its greenhouse gas emission, Reuters reports. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
RDS.A ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC 37.88 -0.21 -0.56%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 3 cents to $70.88 a barrel and gold declined $13.40 to $1,864 an ounce. 

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Overseas markets were mostly higher.

France's CAC 40 paced the gains in Europe, rising 0.24%, while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.18% while Germany’s DAX 30 slipped 0.13%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 0.74% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edged up 0.36%. China’s Shanghai Composite was closed for a holiday.