The S&P 500 secures another record as energy, financials lift market

Salesforce agrees to buy Slack in $27.7B deal

U.S. equity markets erased losses Wednesday and the S&P 500 set a new record despite private employers adding fewer than expected jobs in November.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SP500S&P 5003841.47-11.60-0.30%
XLEENERGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF42.07-0.22-0.52%
XLFFINANCIAL SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF30.34-0.23-0.75%

The broadest measure of the market rose 0.18% with energy and financials driving the gains.

OPEC OPTIMISM ON CUTS DRIVES OIL

West Texas Intermediate crude oil reclaimed the $45 per barrel level ahead of Thursday's output decision by OPEC members and their allies. The group is weighing a three-month extension of production cuts that were agreed to earlier this year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES30996.98-179.03-0.57%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX13543.061633+12.15+0.09%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.2%, erasing a deficit of more than 200 points, while the Nasdaq Composite was little changed.

ADP JOBS DATA SIGNALS SLOW HIRING 

The ADP payroll report showed U.S. private employers added 307,000 jobs in November, missing the 410,000 jobs that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. Job gains from the prior month were revised up to 404,000 from 365,000.

HOUSE POISED TO CUT ROGUE CHINESE FIRMS OFF FROM AMERICAN INVESTORS

The U.K. government granted emergency use authorization to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine, which is the first in the world to be approved, will begin being distributed to vulnerable populations next week. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PFEPFIZER INC.36.55+0.06+0.16%
BNTXBIONTECH SE108.44+3.01+2.85%

Elsewhere, Moderna shares were little changed after Merck & Co. said it sold its stake in the company.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MRNAMODERNA INC.131.02-1.96-1.47%
MRKMERCK & CO. INC.80.96-0.20-0.25%

In mergers and acquisitions, Salesforce.com Inc. agreed to buy workplace messaging platform Slack Inc. in a $27.7 billion deal. Slack shareholders will receive $26.79 per share in cash and 0.776 Salesforce shares for each Slack share they own.

SALESFORCE BUYS SLACK $27.7B DEAL

The deal was partly driven by the onset of the pandemic, according to the companies, which predict remote working is here to stay.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CRMSALESFORCE.COM225.77+3.60+1.62%
WORKSLACK TECHNOLOGIES INC.42.65+0.23+0.54%

High-flying electric-vehicle stocks Tesla Inc. and Nio pulled back, as did fuel cell companies like Plug Power Inc. Separately, Elon Musk said he would consider a deal if he were approached.

ELON MUSK TALKS TESLA M&A

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LILI AUTO INC.34.44-0.93-2.63%
TSLATESLA INC.846.64+1.65+0.20%
NIONIO INC.61.95+3.62+6.21%

BlackBerry Ltd. shares were sharply higher for a second day after announcing a collaboration with Amazon Web Services to develop its intelligent vehicle data platform.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BBBLACKBERRY LIMITED14.04+1.19+9.26%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,292.23-14.76-0.45%

Palantir Technologies Inc. was downgraded to underweight and given a $17 price target at Morgan Stanley. Shares of the Peter Thiel-backed software company that specializes in big data had surged 170% through Tuesday since debuting on the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 30.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PLTRPALANTIR TECHNOLOGIES INC.32.58+6.60+25.40%

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In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 finished up 1.23% after the government gave the green light for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed, while France’s CAC 40 ticked higher by 0.02% and Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.52%.

Asian markets ended little changed with Japan’s Nikkei 225 edging up 0.05%, China’s Shanghai Composite index slipping 0.08% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 225 falling 0.13%.