LIVE MARKETS Tech powers Nasdaq to all-time closing high – Reuters

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TECH POWERS NASDAQ TO ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH (1610 EST/2110 GMT)
Tech stocks pushed the Nasdaq to a second consecutive all-time closing high on Friday, but the S&P 500 turned red late in the session.
For the week, the S&P and the Nasdaq posted gains while the blue-chip Dow ended lower than last Friday's close.
Apple (AAPL.O), Tesla (TSLA.O) and Nvidia (NVDA.O) were the stars of the show, lending the biggest boosts to the S&P and the Nasdaq.
The Dow joined the S&P in the red, with Boeing (BA.N) as its biggest drag. The planemaker dropped 5.8% after the WSJ reported production delays of its 787 Dreamliner.
On the heels of the CDC's recommendation to expand COVID booster shot eligibility, vaccine makers BioNTech and Moderna (MRNA.O) jumped 5.8% and 4.9%, respectively, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) gained a more muted 0.3% and Pfizer (PFE.N) shed 1.2%. read more
A report from Automotive News said that Ford (F.N) and Rivian (RIVN.O) have scrapped plans to jointly develop electric vehicles. Ford closed down 0.9%, while Rivian ended up 4.2%.
EV bellwether Tesla advanced 3.7% on the session.
President Joe Biden's $1.7 trillion social spending and climate change bill passed the House and now heads to a divided Senate. read more
Austria became the first European country to reinstate strict COVID lockdowns, causing wide swings in overseas markets and hurting the airline sector. The S&P 1500 Airline index (.SPCOMAIR) closed down 0.7%. read more
Third-quarter earnings season neared its conclusion this week after a string of high-profile retail earnings.
Economics on tap for next week include readings on home sales, flash PMI, durable goods, consumer spending/sentiment, inflation, and a second stab at third quarter GDP.
Here's your closing snapshot:
(Stephen Culp)
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While the U.S. 2022 midterm elections are some ways away, some polling indicators could indicate trouble ahead for Democrats and President Joe Biden.
The generic congressional ballot, based on polls that ask people which party they would support in an election, shows Republicans with a slight edge for the first time since January 2016, according to the FiveThirtyEight public polling average.
Still, for investors in the oil and gas sector worried about Democrats' targeting of the sector, a Republican midterm win could be better news.
"If the Democrats lose control of the House or the Senate then we are most likely done with legislative climate policy until after 2024," James Stock, Vice Provost for climate and sustainability at Harvard University and former member of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers told the Reuters Global Markets Forum in an interview.
Stewart Glickman, CFRA energy equity analyst, echoed this view, saying that "the GOP winning 2022 midterms would probably take any moonshot-type clean energy policies off the table."
However, Glickman added that a Republican 2022 win would not "kill existing policies."
The ramp up in climate-tech venture capital, the continued drive for portfolio decarbonization and other private sector initiatives will continue to drive investments towards the green transition, Stock added.
The near-term outlook for energy stocks remains strong, according to Glickman, as energy prices continue to rise and renewables slow to capture major market share from fossil fuels. His top picks include Devon Energy (DVN.N) and Targa Resources (TRGP.N).
"So long as OPEC continues to show supply discipline — and so far, they have — and as long as the U.S. oil community does the same, partly because energy investors kept telling these firms to stop producing so much, then oil prices should have a high floor."
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S&P 500 RISES WITH TECH, NASDAQ HITS RECORD (1250 EST/1750 GMT)
The Nasdaq (.IXIC) is up about 0.7% after hitting a record intraday high early and the S&P 500 (.SPX) is up in choppy midday trading Friday, led by gains in the technology sector (.SPLRCT).
Shares of Apple (AAPL.O) are up more than 1% and Nvidia (NVDA.O), which hit a record high Thursday after the company released upbeat results, is extending recent gains and is up almost 4% Friday.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are both on course to post gains for the week, while the blue-chip Dow was on track to post its second straight weekly loss.
President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion bill to bolster the social safety net and fight climate change passed the U.S. House. It now goes to the Senate.
Concerns about rising coronavirus cases in Europe are weighing on sentiment. The Dow (.DJI) is down as well as travel-related stocks including airlines.
Here is the afternoon snapshot:
(Caroline Valetkevitch)
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EUROPEAN STOCKS LICK THEIR AUSTRIAN LOCKDOWN WOUNDS (1150 EST/1650 GMT)
Don't let the modest 0.33% drop in the pan-European STOXX 600 fool you: this session was one of the most dramatic in weeks.
The shockwave sent by Austria becoming the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full COVID-19 lockdown was felt through all asset classes and speculation that Germany could follow suit made things even worse.
What was supposed to be a quiet morning suddenly turned into a market storm with the euro falling against the dollar, yields in euro zone government bonds dropping and European banks taking a pretty serious beating.
Sentiment didn't improve that much during the day even though most moves had somewhat mellowed out by the close.
At the end of the day, euro zone banks fell 2.8%, travel and leisure stocks dropped 1.5% while oil and gas shares slumped 2.5%.
With investors now speculating that the European Central Bank is likely to delay tightening given the resurgent pandemic, real estate stocks thrived, rising 0.9%.
It was also obviously not a bad day to be overweight on pharma with the healthcare index up 0.6%.
In the grand scheme of things, at 486.6 points, the STOXX 600 is only 4 points away from its November 17 record high.
But the direction of travel may be shifting with social restriction and possibly more lockdowns on their way.
"The major risk is that not only growth will be directly affected by government decisions, but also that consumer confidence will be strongly affected as well", wrote Nicola Nobile at Oxford Economics.
"And with private consumption expected to be the major contributor to growth next year, looming decisions on restrictions do not bode well for the European outlook", the economist added.
(Julien Ponthus with Dhara Ranasinghe)
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TALKING COVID … AGAIN, AND CONSUMER SPENDING (1100 EST/1600 GMT)
With leaves swirling in colder temperatures on the U.S. East Coast and Austria becoming the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full COVID-19 lockdown while neighboring Germany is warning it may follow suit, economists and market watchers are turning their focus to the pandemic yet again. read more
In a report looking at COVID and consumer spending, JPMorgan economists Peter McCrory, Jesse Edgerton and Daniel Silver note that following a period of sustained decline in U.S. cases, the numbers have begun rising modestly in recent weeks, though thankfully, with nothing like the 2020 winter surge so far.
They see little evidence of a slowdown in broader U.S. consumer spending, with indicators including the October retail sales report and Chase card spending so far in November pointing to strong consumer demand.
But they also point to state-level evidence suggesting "rising cases are starting to slow consumer spending." If cases rise further they "expect consumer spending will moderate even more."
A modest U.S. case increase is masking considerable geographic variation, according to report. It cites cases rising by more than 50% in the last three weeks in Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and New Mexico, while other states, harder hit by the Delta variant in the summer, are seeing cases fall by more than a third. These states are South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Idaho.
In the past three weeks, states with rising cases have had slower consumer spending growth and states with the sharpest case decline have tended toward the fastest consumer spending pace.
The case growth and spending relationship is similar to the summer's Delta surge, they say, noting that in the last three weeks, each additional doubling in COVID-19 cases is associated with a 1.8%-pt decline in overall state-level spending.
At this time last year, when cases were increasing sharply and consumer spending was flagging they found that each doubling of COVID-19 was associated with a 2.2%-pt decline in state-level consumer spending.
In stocks, energy was the biggest percentage decliner while oil prices were slumping on Friday on the resurgent European COVID fears. read more
But please don't say deja-vu all over again.
(Sinéad Carew)
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BULLS TAKE BREATHER AT SUMMIT OF WALL STREET'S RECORD HIGHS (1020 EST/1520 GMT)
With Wall Street bouncing along record highs, third-quarter reporting season winding down, and the Fed's finger hovering over the taper button, investors have a lot to chew on.
The bulls have backed down, the bears inched forward and the neutrals – the Switzerland of sentiment – rose to the highest level in six weeks, according to the American Association of Independent Investors' (AAII) latest weekly survey of investor sentiment.
Bulls – who expect stocks to rise over the next six months – shed 9.3 percentage points to 38.8% while remaining above their 38% historical average for the fifth straight week.
And bearish pessimists added 3.2 ppts to their pie slice, but at 27.2% of the total, are still below their long-term average of 30.5%.
Neutral sentiment – the belief that stocks will remain essentially unchanged in the coming half-year – jumped by 5.9 ppts to 33.9%, leap-frogging their 31.5% historical average.
Wall Street's spate of record highs is being greeted with differing reaction amongst AAII's survey participants, who were asked whether they think those new highs are warranted.
The "unwarranted" camp won the vote at 44%.
"At some point, reality will set in and the correction that is long overdue will occur," says one respondent. "Depending upon how the Federal Reserve responds could turn the correction into a recession."
"It's not if, but when."
Still, 42% believe current levels are appropriate, with one participant saying "earnings and company profits continue to beat estimates on a regular basis."
(Stephen Culp)
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S&P 500 E-MINIS SLIP; EUROPEAN COVID CASES RISE (0900 EST/1400 GMT)
S&P 500 and Dow index futures are lower early on Friday, with coronavirus cases in Europe rising and hitting shares of travel-sensitive stocks.
Nasdaq index futures are up, however, a day after the index (.IXIC) registered a record closing high. The S&P 500 (.SPX) notched a record high close as well on Thursday.
As of Thursday's close, the S&P and the Nasdaq were both on course to post gains for the week, while the blue-chip Dow was on track to post its second straight weekly loss.
Airline shares including Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), United Airlines (UAL.O) and American Airlines (AAL.O) are lower in premarket trading.
Investors await news of progress on President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion social programs and climate change investment bill. The U.S. House of Representatives early on Friday put off an anticipated vote on passage of the bill amid Republican delaying tactics. read more
House Democratic leaders said the House instead will reconvene at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) to complete the legislation.
Here is the U.S. morning market snapshot:
(Caroline Valetkevitch)
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