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Equities Mixed Midday; Oil Prices, Bond Yields Fall as COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe Leads Austria to Lock Down

1:31PM ET 11/19/2021 MT Newswires
Stocks were mixed midday Friday while bonds and the dollar rose and crude oil slumped as a resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe led Austria to announce a national lockdown, with Germany reportedly considering one as US cases also increased.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4% to 35,719.20, while the S&P 500 was up 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%.

Technology shares fared best while energy and financials lagged.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil slumped $3.60 to $75.41 per barrel, its lowest level since the beginning of October.

The dollar weakened 0.4% against the Japanese yen to 113.78 but appreciated against the euro and the British pound. Austria is to become the first country in Europe to legally mandate COVID-19 vaccines and has announced a full national lockdown starting Monday amid a fourth COVID-19 wave sweeping the continent, a news report from Sky said.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn hinted that the country could follow Austria in announcing a full lockdown, the report added.

The 10-year US Treasury yield fell 4.1 basis points to 1.55%, earlier falling as low as 1.52%.

In company news, Intuit (INTU) reported late Thursday fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings and sales that beat expectations. The earnings guidance from the maker of accounting software for the following three months was above consensus. Its shares surged 9.7% intraday, the most on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

The US Food and Drug Administration expanded emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots produced by Moderna (MRNA) and Pfizer (PFE) with its partner, BioNTech (BNTX), to include all people aged 18 or older, provided they have completed their first vaccination round. Shares of Moderna were among the biggest gainers on S&P 500 and Nasdaq


Nike (NKE) raised its quarterly cash dividend by 11% to $0.305 a share. The sports footwear and apparel retailer's stock was 3% higher, the strongest return on the Dow.

Boeing (BA) slowed the manufacturing of 787 Dreamliner jets to resolve flaws related to the areas adjacent to passenger and cargo doors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. Shares slumped 4.9%, the lowest intraday return on the Dow.

In the metals markets, gold was down 0.4% to $1,853.10, silver was down 0.9% to $24.67 an ounce but copper was up 2.4% to $4.41 per pound.