Stocks mixed as Biden taps Fed’s Powell for second term

Investors are preparing for a busy three days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

U.S. stocks ended the session mixed after investors welcomed President Biden's re-nomination of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for a second term.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on over 17 points or 0.05% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.32% and 1.26%, respectively after touching fresh record highs early on in the session.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34639.79 +617.75 +1.82%
SP500 S&P 500 4577.1 +64.06 +1.42%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15381.319749 +127.27 +0.83%

Large-cap tech stocks weighed on the Nasdaq including Amazon, Microsoft and Google, while Apple maintained modest gains. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,437.36 -6.36 -0.18%
GOOGL ALPHABET, INC. 2,859.32 +38.29 +1.36%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 329.49 -0.59 -0.18%
AAPL APPLE, INC. 163.76 -1.01 -0.61%

With Powell at the helm for a second term, Biden also tapped Fed governor Lael Brainard as vice-chair. Investors took their nominations in stride as their prior working experience will likely represent continuity with monetary policy amid an ongoing effort to tackle inflation. 

FED'S LAEL BRAINARD: WHAT TO KNOW

Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard

Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard ( )

Oil rose 1.07% to $76.75-per-barrel level as reports suggested countries including China and perhaps the U.S. may tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserves with a decision expected as soon as Tuesday. The White House, telling FOX Business, "no decision has been made…The conversations are ongoing and we consider a range of tools for if and when action is needed."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 48.29 +1.25 +2.66%

Existing home sales increased 0.8% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.34 million, the fastest pace since January, and the Chicago Fed's national activity index rose to 0.76, up from -0.18 in September. Durable goods, GDP and inflation are among the reports slated for release on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
VG VONAGE HOLDINGS CORP. 20.66 0.00 0.00%

In deal news, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson is buying U.S. cloud communications company Vonage in a $6.2 billion deal that will help it expand wireless services for business customers.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
RIVN RIVIAN AUTOMOTIVE INC. 110.77 -4.92 -4.25%
F FORD MOTOR CO. 19.87 +0.29 +1.48%
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,437.36 -6.36 -0.18%

In auto news, shares of Rivian fell following news that the company has abandoned plans with Ford to develop electric vehicles together. Amazon remains a backer in the newly public electric vehicle maker. Meanwhile, shares of Tesla rose after CEO Elon Musk indicated the Model S Plaid could go on sale in China around March. The vehicle retails for around $129,000.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 1,084.60 -10.40 -0.95%

Retailers are also in focus with many Black Friday holiday sales already underway. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TGT TARGET CORP. 245.50 +5.11 +2.13%
WMT WALMART, INC. 135.42 -1.64 -1.20%
M MACY'S, INC. 27.70 +0.52 +1.91%
KSS KOHL'S CORP. 49.90 +1.57 +3.25%

In earnings news, Zoom and retailer Urban Outfitters will report results after the bell. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ZM ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 191.75 -5.96 -3.01%
URBN URBAN OUTFITTERS, INC. 31.55 +0.93 +3.04%