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Week in brief: Health and tech sectors surges, finance stocks erase gains

Week in brief: Health and tech sectors surges, finance stocks erase gains

The stock market has erased some gains from the Thanksgiving week after news emerged that Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) might be faced with supply chain issues in distributing the coronavirus vaccines. The giant drug-maker expects to ship just half of the COVID-19 vaccines it had planned for 2020 at 50 million instead of the 100 million it previously said it would deliver. 

However, Pfizer remains optimistic it will supply close to a billion doses next year. Although the company’s stock dropped in the wake of the news, the decline was not enough to erase all the gains made in the week. 

Over the past week, Pfizer led the healthcare sector with gains of 9.74%, with each share selling at $40.09. Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has gained by 3.70%, with each share selling at $149. Bristol Myers Squibb is the sector’s biggest loser at -1.69%. 

The technology sector resilient

The technology sector performed slightly better, led by Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) with gains of 5.96%, with each share selling at $122.94. Apple’s rise comes after the company received a boost with analyst price targeting increase on 5G upgrade optimism. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) made small gains at 0.17%, with each share selling at $214.24. Overall, the technology sector continued with its immunity against the pandemic posting positive gains. 

1-week performance. The S&P index stocks categorized by sectors and industries. Size represents the market cap. Finviz data.

Despite Salesforce (NYSE: CRM)  announcing Slack’s (NYSE: WORK) acquisition, its shares dipped by 10.47% to emerging as the biggest loser under the software category. 

Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was the biggest gainer within the communications category at 3.27%. With mixed news around Facebook, the company’s shares surged by 2.27%. There are reports that Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) might face legal action from the government. At the same time, CEO Mark Zuckerberg sold Facebook stock worth $230 million in November. 

Despite providing resilience and reliability in the pandemic’s wake, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZ) stocks slightly gained by 0.05%. This comes even as the company reaped from the Thanksgiving holiday shopping spree. Retail giant Walmart (NYSE: WMT)  also plunged by 1.67%, with each stock selling at $149.30. The company is planning to pay $700 million in bonuses to its U.S. workers.

After making impressive gains from Thanksgiving week, the financial sector erased the gains. Banking giant JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) has recorded a decline of 0.65%, with each share selling at $121.24. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) also eroded gains after plunging by 0.41%. 

The stock might receive a boost after The Labor Department releases its report for November. The U.S. economy is expected to have added 440,000 jobs, a decline from 638,000 in October. 

The energy sector reverses gains

After having a record run, energy stocks have turned the S&P 500 index red with significant losses. Chevron (NYSE: CVX) was the biggest loser at 2.54%, while Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) shelved its last week gains by 1.47%

The positive data from the Thanksgiving week suggested bullishness throughout December. However, the surging coronavirus cases remain a significant concern for many. Additionally, the stalemate around the stimulus package continues to spell uncertainty for the market. 

Overall, the S&P 500 one-week relative performance shows that the health care sector is the biggest gainer with 2.8%. This can be attributed to the fact that more players are announcing breakthroughs in vaccine development. The technology sector is second with gains of 2.6%.

The S&P 500 general 1-week performance by sector. Data: Finviz

 In comparison, the basic materials sector is third with a gain of 2.3%. Communication services also made gains by 2.26%. The financial sector has made slight gains at 0.23%. Interestingly, the real estate sector has made zero gains. 

Among the biggest losers, consumer defensive has plunged by 0.35% while consumer cyclical has lost by 0.47%. Industrial continues to struggle with a 0.8% loss. The energy sector returns on the worst losers list at 1.54%, with utilities shedding gains by 1.96%. 

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