By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened the week higher as the resumption of test flights for Boeing (NYSE:BA)’s 737 MAX flights gave support in particular to the Dow, where the aircraft maker is heavily weighted.
Boeing stock rose 6.5% on reports that the Federal Aviation Administration had approved the start of test flights for the plane after having various fixes applied during a 15-month hiatus. Airline stocks made more modest gains as they moved a step closer to having a large part of their fleet cleared to fly again.
There was also a trace of renewed optimism in the air as regards the spread of the Coronavirus, with new infections in the U.S. having fallen for two straight days from Friday’s record tally of over 42,000. That said, weekend numbers have often shown a dip in the U.S. and other countries as the process of collating information slows down.
By 10 AM ET (1400 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 272 points, or 1.1% at 25,287 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite, which was the best performing of the three major indices last week, was giving up some of its outperformance with a 0.1% drop, with social media stocks in particular under pressure against a backdrop of a spreading boycott by advertisers. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock was down 3.1%, while Twitter stock was down 1.5%.
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) stock was also under pressure after two-notch downgrade from analysts at Barclays (LON:BARC), who argued that the traditional meat supply chain had bounced back after struggling through the first wave of the pandemic. The stock fell 10.5% to its lowest in a month.
Another loser was Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK), which fell 6.4% to a two-week lower after reports that Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) was developing a messaging system for its base of corporate clients aimed at competing with it. Slack, one of many stocks that had a good second quarter on perceptions that it would profit from growth in remote working, posted deeply disappointing quarterly figures that showed it struggling to turn user growth into cash.
Among the gainers, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) stock rose 2.3% after announcing the prices for its Covid-19 drug candidate Remdesivir. while Nikola rose 9.0% on reports that it had been able to attract $5,000 deposits for its hydrogen-powered trucks – despite not even having a working prototype.
Elsewhere, oil and gas stocks were mixed after shale gas pioneer Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy at the weekend. The company has secured $925 million of debtor-in-possession financing that will allow it to continue some operations. Analysts expect some 200 shale companies to go bust due to this year’s collapse in prices.
Stocks – Wall Street Opens Higher as Boeing Lifts Mood
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