The major U.S. stock indexes finished higher on Friday, capping a volatile week with a modest gain. Nonetheless, all the move did was cut the weekly losses as investors remained nervous over the spread of the delta-variant of the coronavirus and lingering uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve would begin reducing its massive stimulus buying.

In the cash market on Friday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 4441.67, up 35.87 or +0.81%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 35120.08, up 225.96 or +0.65% and the tech-weighted NASDAQ Composite closed at 14714.66, up 172.88 or +1.19%.

Investor Tastes and Preferences Driving the Price Action

There didn’t seem to be a central theme in the stock market on Friday with some traders squaring positions ahead of the weekend and other buying undervalued stocks. Some investors looked for value and others growth, but I wouldn’t describe the session as clearly “risk on”. There was some uncertainty and a little backing and filling throughout the day.

According to Reuters, “Market-leading tech and tech-adjacent megacaps, which weathered the pandemic recession better than most, once again provided the biggest lift.”

“Growth stocks were also given a boost by U.S. Treasury yields, which ended the week lower due to concerns the health crisis could be a longer than expected hindrance to economic revival.”

“Announcements from a host of Asian nations that they are implementing drastic measures to curb the resurgence of COVID-19 due to the rise of the disease’s highly contagious Delta variant, put a damper on stocks associated with economic re-engagement,” Reuters wrote.

Coronavirus-Related Stocks on the Move

On Friday, the top five coronavirus stocks were Novavax Inc, BioNTech, Nanoviricides Inc, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc and Emergent Biosolutions.

Novavax Inc settled at $230.89, up $13.42 or +6.17% after the European Union said it expects the company to submit data needed for the possible approval of its COVID-19 vaccine around October, an EU official told Reuters on Friday, in what could be another delay for the U.S. biotech firm.

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Novavax signed a deal with the EU this month to supply up to 200 million doses and said it would complete the submission of data to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the vaccine’s approval in Europe as early as the end of September.

Microsoft Corp Top Dow Component

Microsoft Corp settled at $304.36, up $7.59 or +2.56% on Friday, one day after it announced it will raise prices as much as 20% for a bundle of software called Microsoft 365 that includes popular apps like Teams and Outlook. The increases will take effect within six months, Microsoft said in a blog post announcing the change.

The Microsoft 365 suite is the cornerstone of the company’s productivity and business process segment, which had sales of $53.9 billion in its most recent fiscal year, about a third of Microsoft’s overall $168 billion in sales.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire


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