Stocks closed modestly higher today, after better-than-expected jobless claims and stimulus hopes boosted investor sentiment. However, all three benchmarks surrendered larger gains in the final hour of trading, after Pfizer (PFE) reported supply chain issues with its coronavirus vaccine. Ultimately, the Dow added 85 points, despite climbing 220 points at its session highs. The Nasdaq held on for a win, while the S&P 500 gave up marginal gains to finish in the red, although both indexes scored intraday record highs earlier.
Today’s choppy price action comes amid the gridlock in D.C. over a second stimulus bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement calling on Republicans to cooperate on a new bipartisan proposal. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said signs point to a possible deal before the end of the year. Elsewhere, traders are monitoring the rising number of coronavirus infections in the U.S., with 100,000 patients hospitalized and deaths topping 2,800 on Wednesday — the highest single-day death toll reported to date.
Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:
- See why Dollar General stock dropped despite blowout earnings.
- Is this retailer one of the only undervalued stocks left?
- Plus, Stitch Fix stock plummeted after downgrade; CRWD’s big day; and a Wall Street newcomer gets blasted by options traders.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI – 29,969.52) gained 85.7 points, or 0.3% on the day. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) led the Dow components with a 7.5% rise, while Home Depot (HD) paced the laggards, falling 1.1%.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 3,666.72) dropped 2.3 points, or 0.06%, for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC – 12,377.18) was up 27.8 points, or 0.2% for the day.
Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX – 21.28) fell 0.1 point, or 0.5% for the day.
- Southwest Airlines may have to furlough 6,800 workers for the first time in its history due to a “lack of progress” in cost-cutting negotiations with labor unions. (CNBC)
- Mortgage rates fell to a new record low in spite of rising Treasury yields, but the boost home buyers are seeing from low interest rates has faded. (MarketWatch)
- Stitch Fix stock plummeted following a Wells Fargo downgrade.
- Bull notes pushed CrowdStike to record highs post-earnings.
- The Wall Street newcomer that is seeing an options surge.
Oil Prices Climb After OPEC+ Decision
Oil prices ended the day higher, despite the long-awaited decision from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to increase current productions by 500,000 barrels starting as soon as January. As a result, January-dated crude added 36 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $45.64 a barrel.
Meanwhile, gold prices hit a nearly 10-day record after climbing for the third consecutive time this week. The positive price action was attributed to a weak U.S. dollar, as well as renewed hopes a stimulus agreement may soon be reached in Congress. In response, February-dated gold rose $10.90, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,841.10 an ounce for the day.
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