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Market Snapshot: Dow up more than 230 points as stock-market investors await virtual Jackson Hole Fed gathering

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U.S. stock benchmarks rose solidly higher Monday morning in what’s expected to be a week dominated by chatter about monetary policy as international central bankers prepare to convene virtually later this week for the annual Jackson Hole monetary policy symposium, which features a highly anticipated speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

What are major stock indexes doing?
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average
    DJIA,
    +0.70%

    rose 236 points, or 0.7%, to 35,356.
  • The S&P 500
    SPX,
    +0.84%

    advanced 28 points, or 0.6%, to reach 4,470.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index
    COMP,
    +1.16%

    advanced 116 points to reach 14,828, a gain of 0.8%.

Last week, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each retreated.

What’s driving the market?

U.S. stocks were kicking the week off on a high note, as the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole retreat commences on Thursday, with Powell addressing the event — now online instead of in-person — on Friday.

Economists expect him to discuss the progress toward reducing the rate of bond purchases, but not formally signal a timetable.

Read: Investors look for Fed clues on tapering as Jackson Hole goes virtual because of delta variant

“Seems like an odd time to pull back accommodation. While the FOMC has yet to concede that the delta variant is putting a real dent in the economy’s trajectory, our economic activity index has flatlined for about eight weeks,” said analysts at Jefferies.

Powell’s position at the Fed seems to be in good standing. According to a Bloomberg News article, Powell’s reappointment is supported by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, with President Joe Biden expected to make a decision around Labor Day.

Shares of both Uber Technologies
UBER,
+0.11%

and Lyft
LYFT,
-1.18%

retreated after a judge ruled a California proposition treating drivers as contractors instead of employees was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is granted full approval for Pfizer Inc.’s PFE and partner BioNTech SE’BNTX COVID-19 vaccine early Monday.

Which companies are in focus?
  • Chevron CorpCVX is requiring some of its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and is considering whether to extend that requirement to all of its employees, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • Shares of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. MSGE rose 2%, after the live entertainment company, whose venues include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and The Chicago Theater, swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss but reported revenue that rose above expectation as capacity restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted in several U.S. markets.
  • Virgin Orbit is set to go public, as the launch and space solutions company announced Monday a merger agreement with special-purpose acquisition company NextGen Acquisition Corp. II NGCA, in a deal that values Virgin Orbit at about $3.2 billion. 
  • Shares of Trillium Therapeutics Inc. TRIL nearly tripled, skyrocketing 189.3%, after the immuno-oncology company announced an agreement to be acquired by Pfizer in a cash deal valued $2.26 billion.
  • JD.com IncJD reported Monday second-quarter profit that fell but beat expectations, while revenue rose above forecasts, as the China-based supply chain-based technology and service provider added more than 32 million new users, a quarterly record.
  • Shares of Pfizer were up 2.4% after the FDA announcement and those for BioNTech were trading nearly 8% higher.
How other assets are faring
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y was trading virtually unchanged at 1.26%. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions.
  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was virtually unchanged, fell 0.4%.
  • Oil futures traded sharply higher, with the U.S. benchmark CL. 1 up 4.3% to $64.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures GC00 trade up 1.3% at $1,806.20 an ounce, retaking a psychologically significant level at $1,800 and rising above resistance at around $1,900.
  • In European equities, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP rose 0.4%, while London’s FTSE 100 UKX traded 0.3% higher.
  • In Asia, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP jumped 1.5% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK rose 1.8%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI closed 1.1% higher on Monday.

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