Stocks Extend Losses as Stimulus Bill Heads to Senate

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell blocked an effort to unanimously pass stimulus

Digital Content Manager
Dec 29, 2020 at 4:34 PM
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The major benchmarks retreated from their intraday records on Tuesday amid a new stimulus gridlock. The Dow was up more than triple digits at its session highs, but slowly drifted into the red as the day wore on. This price action was compounded after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell deterred Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer from fast-tracking a bill that would have increased stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600, as requested by President Donald Trump. In response, the Dow and S&P 500 snapped their three-day win streaks, while the Nasdaq Composite also logged a modest loss.

Elsewhere, the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. is casting a pall over the vaccine rollout. Investors are also keeping a close eye on Georgia's Senate run-off election next Tuesday, which could tilt the Senate in favor of a Democratic majority. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Target stock moves higher thanks to Dermstore sale.
  • Bullish signal says this social media stock could surge.
  • Plus, Boeing stock lifted by 737 news; the first retailer to report earnings in 2021; and unpacking CVS' chart performance.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 30,335.67) shed 68.3 points, or 0.2% for the day. Intel (INTC) led the eight Dow winners with a 4.9% rise, while Apple (AAPL) paced the laggards with a 1.3% drop.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,727.04) lost 8.3 points, or 0.2% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 12,850.22) gave back 49.2 points, or 0.4% for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 23.08) added 1.4 point, or 6.4% for the day.

 Closing Indexes Summary Dec 29

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Dec 29

  1. American Airlines (AAL) said it expects capacity cuts to continue through February, as a rising number of COVID-19 cases and travel restrictions hurt demand. (CNBC)
  2. Health experts are criticizing the delayed rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, with only 2.1 million vaccinated people in the U.S. as opposed to 20 million. (MarketWatch) 
  3. Boeing stock moves higher as 737 MAX takes off once again. 
  4. This retail stock will be one of the first to report earnings in 2021.
  5. CVS stock fundamentals at odds with recent chart performance.

There were no notable earnings reports today.

Unusual Options Activity Dec 29

Oil Prices Rise on Heels of Further Economic Relief

Oil prices finished higher today, as investors grew optimistic about the $900 billion stimulus package, and the House passed legislation that could increase the value of direct payments to Americans. As a result, February-dated crude added 38 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $48 per barrel.

Gold prices finished higher as well, as the U.S. dollar began to weaken and the major benchmarks gave back gains in the afternoon, making the safe-haven commodity more attractive. In response, February-dated gold added $2.50, or 0.1% for the day, to settle at $1,882.90 an ounce.

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