Market Snapshot: Dow turns higher, S&P 500 flat in afternoon trade as investors gauge China zero-COVID policies and await Powell speech

by | Nov 29, 2022 | Stock Market

U.S. stocks wavered in afternoon trade Tuesday, as investors gauged the chances that Beijing may ease its zero-COVID policies which provoked widespread protests over the weekend and added to investor worries about global economic growth. Wall Street was also weighing downbeat data on U.S. consumer confidence, the housing market, and comments from Federal Reserve officials on future interest rate hikes, while looking ahead to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech Wednesday.

How are stocks are trading
S&P 500
declined 2 points, or less than 0.1%, to 3,962

Dow Jones Industrial Average
gained 40 points, or 0.1% to 33,887

The Nasdaq Composite
dropped 47 points, or 0.4% to 11,001

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 498 points, or 1.45%, to 33849, the S&P 500 declined 62 points, or 1.54%, to 3964, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 177 points, or 1.58%, to 11050.What’s driving markets Equities, bond yields and industrial commodity prices fell at the start of the week on concerns a wave of anti COVID-lockdown demonstrations would cause a crackdown by Beijing, further hobbling activity in the world’s second biggest economy and slowing global growth. However, on Tuesday China’s National Health Commission said it would ramp up COVID vaccinations for the elderly, a move that is seen allowing the government eventually to relax COVID restrictions. See: Some markets cheer as China vows to vaccinate more elderly. Analysts see positive movement by officials. “Police in China have quashed mass COVID demonstrations for now, helping stocks regain their footing,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. However, Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics, worries it will take much longer time for the new campaign of getting elderly vaccinated to succeed, because the vaccination rate is still low. “Investors in particular are really eager for this kind of good news to happen, that there’s going to be opening up and they’re seizing onto every morsel of good news on that front, but I think it’s gonna be a longer process,” said Williams in a briefing on Tuesday. The Hang Seng index
in Hong Kong, which fell 1.6% on Monday, surged 5.2%. “The unrest in China duly weighed on equity indices everyw …

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