Comic: Stimulus Hopes, Vaccine Optimism To Drive Sentiment In The Week Ahead

  • Economy News
Comic: Stimulus Hopes, Vaccine Optimism To Drive Sentiment In The Week Ahead
Credit: © Reuters.

By Jesse Cohen - Stocks fell on Friday, but Wall Street’s major averages still managed to score weekly gains amid renewed hopes for another fiscal stimulus package and ongoing optimism over Covid-19 vaccine progress.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 124 points, or 0.4%, to end the day at 30,179, while the S&P 500 shed 0.4% to close at 3,709.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.1% to 12,755 and the small-cap Russell 2000 dipped 0.3% to finish the session at 1,972.

All four indexes closed at records in the previous session.

The major averages posted gains for the week, despite Friday’s weakness. The Dow rose 0.4%, while the S&P 500 tacked on 1.3%. The Nasdaq and the Russell outperformed, with both notching a gain of 3.1% over that time frame.

Investors should expect more volatility in the holiday-shortened Christmas week ahead as they monitor fresh developments on the stimulus and vaccine front.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Washington were working through the weekend to complete a $900 billion coronavirus aid bill for American individuals and businesses struggling from the economic fallout of pandemic lockdowns.

Both sides say they are close to a deal, but significant differences remain.

Congressional leaders expect to attach the package to a $1.4 trillion spending bill that would fund U.S. government activity through September 2021. Government funding was due to expire on Friday, but lawmakers approved a two-day stopgap bill to buy more time which President Donald Trump signed into law late on Friday.

Congress now faces a Sunday midnight deadline to approve more funding.

Meanwhile, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA )'s coronavirus vaccine on Friday became the second to receive emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Millions of doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be added to the U.S. rollout, which began last week with healthcare workers.

The FDA announced the authorization a week after the agency authorized a vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) and German partner BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX ).

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