Stock market closes modestly higher in holiday-abbreviated Christmas Eve trade

Stock market closes modestly higher in holiday-abbreviated Christmas Eve trade

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 178 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 30,000, near midday on Monday and the Nasdaq composite was 1.1 per cent lower.

U.S. benchmarks moved higher into the final sessions ahead of Christmas as investors banked on a stimulus deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.7% to 30,015.51.

Another report said that orders for long-lasting goods strengthened by more than expected last month, a good sign for the nation's manufacturers. The S&P 500 index was up 2.75 points, or 0.07%, to 3,690.01. Because it's the biggest company in the index by market value, its movements carry more sway on the benchmark index than any other stock.

Fears about the new COVID-19 strain blunted the boost from the deal hammered out by US legislators on a $900 billion relief package after months of wrangling between Democrats and Republicans.

A mixed batch of economic data didn't keep the market from grinding higher Wednesday. Analysts said some traders may be selling now to lock in profits, with the compromise all but assured and prices close to the highest they've ever been. The number is still incredibly high compared with before the pandemic, but it was better than economists were expecting.

Other data reports were more grim, though.

That resurgence may have had an impact on the economy with consumer confidence unexpectedly dropping while sales of pre-owned US homes posted their first decline in six months. It was the first drop since April, and it's a discouraging signal for an economy that's driven mostly by consumer spending.

The resurgent pandemic is pushing governments around the country and world to bring back varying degrees of restrictions on businesses.

The resurgent pandemic has already been dragging on the USA economy, which during the summer had roared to a record annualized pace of 33.4% growth.

Travel stocks also rebounded as concerns over a new strain of COVID-19 seemed to subside.

In a video posted on Twitter, Trump said the stimulus bill, agreed upon after months of wrangling in Congress, was "a disgrace" and that he wanted to increase "ridiculously low" $600 payments for individuals to $2,000. Other Chinese e-commerce companies, including JD.com were also trading lower.

"Despite the churning of the Washington DC pond by vetos, new votes, and overrides, Wall Street clearly believes something positive will float to the top of the barrel when the churning stops", Halley said.

Losses were widespread, and the vast majority of stocks in the S&P 500 were dropping at the week's opening.

Financial experts weighed on the stimulus debacle, noting that with a new president coming, a potential veto or criticism should have little effect on stocks and index ETFs.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Wednesday's 0.94%.

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