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Wall St dips from record levels, additional stimulus uncertain

Stock Markets Dec 29, 2020 04:20PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. A man wearing a protective face mask walks by 14 Wall Street, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in the financial district of New York 2/2

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S. stocks edged lower on Tuesday in choppy trading after hitting record highs, as investors worried about the path of economic reopening and whether the Senate would authorize additional pandemic aid checks.

Modest gains in early trading brought stocks to an intraday record, but the advance evaporated after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked immediate consideration of the measure calling for an increase in stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000. Final passage of the proposal would require 60 votes and the backing of a dozen Republicans.

McConnell said the chamber would address the increased payments this week along with limits on big technology companies and election integrity.

McConnell's comment comes a day after Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the move to bump up direct payments.

"The move by Majority Leader McConnell to not endorse the $2,000 disbursements turned equity markets from green to red around midday," said Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta.

"The plan that was originally signed is baked in. The question as to whether the bigger individual checks get passed is up for debate."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.3 points, or 0.22%, to 30,335.67, the S&P 500 lost 8.32 points, or 0.22%, to 3,727.04 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 49.20 points, or 0.38%, to 12,850.22.

Volumes are expected to be light in the holiday-shortened week, which could lead to boost volatility. The S&P 500 is up 15.4% so far this year, with just two trading days left in 2020.

Wall Street's three main indexes opened at new highs for a second straight session after Trump signed a $2.3 trillion fiscal bill that restored jobless benefits and averted a federal government shutdown.

More than 2 million Americans have been inoculated, helping investors look past a surge in infections that topped 19 million, with California, a major U.S. virus hot spot, likely to extend strict stay-at-home orders.

But a sharp drop in small cap stocks could mark concern surrounding the surge in infections causing a slower than hoped for reopening, according to Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. The Russell 2000 small cap index was off 1.85% on the day, its biggest one-day percentage decline in a month.

Unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus measures, along with positive vaccine developments have helped the S&P 500 bounce back from a virus-fueled crash in March.

The benchmark index is up more than 10% for the quarter as investors have flocked to economically-sensitive stocks from the so called 'stay-at-home' plays on hopes of a recovery.

Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) jumped 4.93% after Reuters reported activist hedge fund Third Point (NYSE:TPRE) LLC is pushing the chipmaker to explore strategic options, including whether it should remain an integrated device manufacturer. [nL1N2J9139]

After rising as much as 2.6%, Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares gave back earlier gains to close up 0.07% as its 737 MAX plane resumed passenger flights in the United States for the first time after a 20-month safety ban was lifted last month.

Snapchat owner Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) climbed 6.15% after Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) raised its price target on the stock on upbeat revenue growth prospects.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.46 billion shares, compared with the 11.14 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.70-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.57-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 83 new highs and 27 new lows.

Wall St dips from record levels, additional stimulus uncertain
 

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Comments (12)
Wicked Pete
Wicked Pete Dec 29, 2020 2:14PM ET
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crash when people see the side effects from vaccine
Jm Vm
Jm Vm Dec 29, 2020 12:32PM ET
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It'll be 13 months, almost to the day, when I'll receive my second vaccine shot and reenter the economy. That'll mean dining out again, traveling, vacations, and all the things the orange blowhard's failures prevented me along with many others from doing as we isolated to stay alive. With him out of the way and vaccinations starting, things will only get better as time passes.
Antonio Ba
Antonio Ba Dec 29, 2020 12:32PM ET
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It was dems who criticized his lockdown against China, and went even so far as showing how “non-racists” they were by visiting China city quarters and restaurants; also, you will be getting a vaccine after few months, instead of years, as Fauci & co predicted at the brginning, because the guy you seem to be hating so much masterminded a certain “operation warp speed”.
Jm Vm
Jm Vm Dec 29, 2020 12:32PM ET
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Rajesh Kumar I kept me safe and alive. He did nothing but promote the spread of the virus and lie to the nation.
Jm Vm
Jm Vm Dec 29, 2020 12:32PM ET
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Antonio Ba But... but... but... nothing! He caused more deaths on US soil in 10 months than US lives lost in 4+ years of global combat during WWII fighting fascists and dictators that rule at their whim. You know, the kind that overthrow elections or take control politically and militarily.
Jm Vm
Jm Vm Dec 29, 2020 12:32PM ET
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Alex Rodriguez I'll bet there's A LOT you don't know. That's pretty much obvious.
Samui Lo
Samui Lo Dec 29, 2020 11:50AM ET
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There is a little red quiiiick call J POW to make his printers go brrrr
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 29, 2020 11:43AM ET
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The ***you all talking about the market is red.
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Dec 29, 2020 11:37AM ET
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Immediately intercepted as it goes red, as the flagrant fraud continues.  The laughingstock of the financial world continues to defraud working class America in broad daylight.
Zohaib Memon
Zohaib Memon Dec 29, 2020 11:28AM ET
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Any one guide me about how much govt provide stimulus cheque ? monthly or weekly
Wicked Pete
Wicked Pete Dec 29, 2020 11:28AM ET
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neither, it is one time only
Luke Lee
Luke Lee Dec 29, 2020 9:13AM ET
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It must be easy to be a market pundit. Stonks go up: vaccine optimism, stimulus hope. Stonks go down, fear over rising number of covid cases
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Dec 29, 2020 9:13AM ET
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its only 1 direction.
Max German
MaxiGE Dec 29, 2020 9:05AM ET
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chapter 18337273
Mike Brarey
Mike Brarey Dec 29, 2020 8:49AM ET
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how many more times can the same news be repriced?
Larry Deangelis
Larry Deangelis Dec 29, 2020 8:49AM ET
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Exactly! Everything is in the Hope's that it will stimulate the economy. Garbage
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Dec 29, 2020 8:49AM ET
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Look at Rusdia Collusion...4years?
Zack Harding
Zack Harding Dec 29, 2020 8:49AM ET
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Look at global warming...30 years? Teflon is safe...20 years?
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Dec 29, 2020 8:30AM ET
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Another day of fraud in the laughingstock of the financial world.
 
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