By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened mostly lower on Monday, pausing after sharp gains made over the month of November as a whole, as the market took a moment to reflect on whether it had come too far, too fast.
By 9:35 AM ET (1435 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 181 points, or 0.6%, at 29,730 points. The S&P 500 was also down 0.2%, while the NASDAQ Composite was up 0.2%, supported by names like Slack (NYSE:WORK), which hit another all-time high on the back of lasf week’s reports of a possible merger with Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) and Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) also hit new highs for the year as technology-themed stocks came back into fashion.
Sentiment has cooled somewhat against the backdrop of a muted holiday weekend that saw both air travel and traditional shopping down sharply from a year earlier. Data from Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Analytics suggest that the sales volumes lost by brick-and-mortar stores wasn’t completely compensated for by a 21% rise in online sales.
Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock also surged 16% to a new all-time high after it filed for emergency use approval for its Covid-19 vaccine in both the U.S. and Europe. The company said that final trial data showed the drug’s efficacy to be over 94%, without any serious safety concerns.
By contrast, Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) stock fell over 23% to its lowest in over a year after it said that General Motors (NYSE:GM) no longer intends to buy a stake a company, and that its Badger truck project would therefore not go ahead as planned (newswires cited sources saying that it had been shelved ‘indefinitely’.
Nikola also announced a major stock offering to replace the investment capital it would have received from GM if their September deal had been finalized. The marketing for that offering coincides with the expiry of the lockup of founder Trevor Milton’s shares.
The market reacted positively to news of what is the biggest M&A deal announced so far this year, which is set to create a new giant in financial data. S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) has agreed to buy IHS Markit (NYSE:INFO) for some $39 billion and another $5 billion in debt in an all-stock transaction.
Elsewhere, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock fell 1.3% and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock fell 1.2% after reports suggesting that the two are likely to face yet another investigation from the Department of Justice in the new year.