Markets News, Nov. 20, 2023: Microsoft Closes at Record, Leads Indexes Higher To Start Shortened Trading Week

Update (Nov. 21, 2023): For today's live markets coverage, see here.

Stocks rose Monday adding to last week's gains amid a leadership shake-up at arguably the world's most high-profile start-up.

The Nasdaq climbed 1.1%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6%.

Microsoft (MSFT) shares rose after it said it would hire Sam Altman, who was ousted as CEO of OpenAI last Friday, to lead a new in-house AI research team. Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI, the company behind Chat-GPT.

Earnings season will wind down this week with reports from Nvidia (NVDA) and home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) on Tuesday, and Deere & Co. (DE) on Wednesday.

Stock and bond markets are closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early (1 p.m. and 2 p.m. ET, respectively) on Friday.

Stocks rose last week, adding to the November that has the Nasdaq up about 10%, and the S&P 500 nearly 8% higher.

S&P 500 Gains and Losses Today

November 20, 2023 05:27 PM EST

Here are the stocks in the S&P 500 that gained and lost the most today, and the stories behind the day's market movers.

A chart shows the companies in the S&P 500 that had the biggest gains and losses on Nov. 20, 2023.


Boeing, Microsoft Lead Dow 200 Points Higher to Start Holiday-Shortened Week

November 20, 2023 05:12 PM EST

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 203 points, or about 0.6%, Monday as investors looked to build on the index’s three-week winning streak. 

Boeing (BA) shares jumped 4.7% to close above $217 after Deutsche Bank upgraded it to “buy” from “hold” and set a $270 price target on signs improvements in supply chain issues can help the aircraft maker increase deliveries. 

Shares of Intel (INTC) gained 2.1%, moving higher for the fifth straight session after being upgraded last week by Mizuho Securities. 

Microsoft (MSFT) shares also rose 2.1% on revelations that it had hired Sam Altman after he was dismissed as the CEO of OpenAI. The tech giant closed at another record high of over $377. Meanwhile, analysts at Wedbush reiterated their $425 target price following the moves to bring in OpenAI leadership. 

Salesforce (CRM) shares climbed 1.8% after CEO Marc Benioff said the company would hire and match the salaries of any defecting OpenAI employees. 

Caterpillar (CAT) shares fell 1% after analysts at HSBC initiated coverage of the heavy-equipment maker with a rating of “hold.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) fell 0.9% on reports it was seeking to pay about 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion) to offload its responsibility for Boots’ pension scheme, possibly paving the way for a sale of the British pharmacy chain.

-Terry Lane

Cruise Co-Founder and CEO Kyle Vogt Leaves the GM-Owned Robo Taxi Company

November 20, 2023 03:25 PM EST

It’s a big shakeup for General Motors’ (GM) self-driving taxi unit, Cruise: Co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt announced he was stepping down over the weekend.

GM purchased Cruise in 2016. At the time, GM President Dan Ammann explained that fully autonomous vehicles “can bring our customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost, and improved safety for their daily mobility needs.”

But the road has been bumpy. Cruise shut down testing of all its vehicles in the U.S. in October after a?Cruise car was involved in a collision with a pedestrian in San Francisco. Another pedestrian was struck by a Cruise vehicle in August. Regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating.

Shares of GM were up 1.9% Monday afternoon, but are still more than 15% lower for 2023.

-Bill McColl


Bonds Rally on Promising 20-Year Treasury Auction

November 20, 2023 02:18 PM EST

Bond prices rose Monday, sending yields lower after the results of today’s 20-year Treasury note auction showed strong demand as investors warm up to longer-term debt amid falling inflation and confidence interest rates have peaked. 

The highest yield on a note auctioned Monday was 4.78%, below the 4.81% yield on notes trading on the secondary market before the auction closed. That means bond buyers were willing to pay a higher price for the debt than markets were expecting, a promising sign for the bond market, which has been pummeled in the last two years by the Federal Reserve’s campaign of interest rate hikes.?

The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell to about 4.57% on the auction results, while the 10-year yield slipped to 4.42%.?

Midday Movers

November 20, 2023 01:41 PM EST

Paramount Global (PARA): Shares of the media conglomerate gained more than 6% after it reached a deal to sell its majority stake in Bellator, a mixed martial arts promotion, to the Professional Fighters League (PFL). 

Boeing Co. (BA): Shares of the airplane maker rose more than 4% after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to buy from hold and raised its price target, citing robust delivery growth over the next few years.

General Motors Co. (GM): Shares of the carmaker rose nearly 2% after Kyle Vogt, the CEO of its self-driving car subsidiary Cruise, resigned amid concerns about the safety of its vehicles. 

United Rentals Inc. (URI): Shares of the equipment rental company fell nearly 2% after U.K.-based competitor Ashtead Group warned full-year revenue and earnings, hurt by a dearth of natural disasters and Hollywood strikes, would fall short of expectations.

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX): Shares fell more than 1% on reports it was surpassed as China’s largest coffee chain by local Luckin Coffee. 

Bristol-Myers Squibb, 2seventy Bio Shares Fall as FDA Delays Decision on Cancer Drug

November 20, 2023 12:52 PM EST

Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and partner 2seventy bio (TSVT) slumped after the two companies announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would not make a decision on expanded use for their blood cancer treatment, Abecma, next month as originally planned.

The FDA was set to decide on Dec. 16 whether Abecma could be prescribed for those with earlier lines of triple-class exposed relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

A decision by Germany’s Bayer to end a Phase 3 trial of an experimental blood-thinning medicine because of lack of efficacy also raised concerns about the future of a similar medicine under development by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Bristol-Myers Squibb shares dropped over 3% Monday to their lowest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 2seventy bio shares sank more than 18% to an all-time low.

-Bill McColl

November Bond Rally Brings Hope of Breaking Two-Year Losing Streak

November 20, 2023 12:00 PM EST

After November’s bond market rally, U.S. bonds are on a path to post an annual gain for the first time since 2020.?

The S&P U.S. Aggregate Bond Index has risen 3% so far this month, boosted by cooler inflation and labor market data. The rally has put the index up 1.2% for the year.?

The index has fallen for two consecutive years—1.4% in 2021 and 12% in 2022—amid the biggest Treasury bear market in history.

The iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF, which tracks the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, has fallen more than 20% from its peak in July 2020, its largest drawdown since the index was launched in 2004.

Microsoft Taps Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to Lead New AI Team and Shares Rise

November 20, 2023 11:17 AM EST

Microsoft (MSFT) said it hired Sam Altman to lead an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) research team after he was fired as CEO from ChatGPT maker OpenAI, and shares rose in early trading Monday.

Former OpenAI President and Board Chair Greg Brockman, who had also been asked to step down from his position and quit OpenAI, has joined Microsoft along with Altman. Other OpenAI colleagues suggested they would follow them to Microsoft as well.

Microsoft has invested $13 billion into OpenAI and represents its biggest shareholder, with a stake of about 49%.

Shares of Microsoft, which fell Friday after Altman's departure from OpenAI was announced, were up 1.2% Monday morning.

-Fatima Attarwala

Argentine Stocks Jump After Populist Libertarian Milei Wins Presidency

November 20, 2023 10:33 AM EST

Shares of Argentinian companies trading on U.S. exchanges jumped Monday morning after right-wing populist Javier Milei won the country’s presidential election.?

Milei has promised to abandon the peso and make Argentina the world’s largest economy to adopt the U.S. dollar as its official currency. He has also said he will reform the central bank and pension system.?

The election results come as Argentina grapples with a 150% inflation rate and rising poverty levels.

American depositary receipts of the oil company YPF Sociedad Anonima (YPF) gained 35% Monday morning, while the bank Grupo Financiero Galicia (GGAL) and Telecom Argentina (TEO) both jumped more than 20%.

Premarket Movers

November 20, 2023 09:30 AM EST

CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP): Shares of the gene-editing tech company rose 4% after UK regulators last week approved the world’s first gene therapy treatment for sickle cell disease.

Vale SA (VALE): Shares of the mining company rose more than 2% after it signed a deal to sell a 14% stake in its Indonesian nickel mining subsidiary as part of efforts to meet regulatory requirements imposed on foreign firms.

Medtronic Plc (MDT): Shares of the health tech company rose about 1% after it said the FDA had approved its renal denervation system for the treatment of hypertension. Medtronic also reports its quarterly earnings tomorrow. 

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY): Shares of the pharmaceutical giant fell nearly 5% after it said the FDA had delayed a decision on expanding the use of its blood cancer treatment.

Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER): Shares of the ride-hailing app fell more than 2% after it said it would sell $1.2 billion of convertible senior notes. 

Futures Mixed Heading Into Shortened Trading Week

November 20, 2023 08:35 AM EST

Futures contracts connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were slightly lower in premarket trading Monday.

Dow futures (Nov. 20, 2023)

S&P 500 futures were effectively flat a little over an hour before markets opened.

S&P 500 futures (Nov. 20, 2023)

Nasdaq 100 futures were less than 0.1% higher.

Nasdaq 100 futures (Nov. 20, 2023)
Article Sources
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  2. General Motors. "GM to Acquire Cruise Automation to Accelerate Autonomous Vehicle Development."

  3. Department of the Treasury. "Treasury Auction Results - November 20, 2023."

  4. Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel) in Earlier Lines of Therapy for Triple-Class Exposed Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma."

  5. Bayer. "OCEANIC-AF study stopped early due to lack of efficacy."

  6. S&P Dow Jones Indices. "S&P U.S. Aggregate Bond Index."

  7. iShares. "iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF."

  8. LinkedIn. "Satya Nadella."

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