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Stock indexes wobble in morning trading on Wall Street

10 months 1 week 10 hours ago Tuesday, December 08 2020 Dec 8, 2020 December 08, 2020 11:08 AM December 08, 2020 in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks wavered between small gains and losses in morning trading Tuesday as investors worry that rising virus cases will delay a full economic recovery while the world waits for wide distribution of a vaccine.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% and remained just below the record high it set on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 71 points, or 0.2%, to 30,141 as of 11:22 a.m. Eastern time. The Nasdaq fell 0.1%.

The U.K. became the first Western country to start a mass vaccination program after British regulators last week authorized the use of a COVID-19 shot developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. U.S. health regulators have given a positive initial review of that vaccine and a decision to allow its use is expected within days.

But, wide distribution of any vaccine is likely months away. Meanwhile, governments worldwide have been tightening restrictions on businesses in an effort to stem the latest surge in cases.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on Washington. Congress is still stuck in a partisan stalemate over the size and scope of any additional aid to help cushion the financial impact to people and businesses. The economy has been showing signs of a stalled recovery as the virus surge broadens nationally, including slower job growth in the U.S. last month.

Health care stocks made solid gains. Pfizer rose 2.5% and Johnson & Johnson rose 1.8%. Energy companies also rose while crude oil prices only slightly fell. Exxon rose 33%.

Shop-from-home clothing seller Stitch Fix soared 41.8% after reporting a surprise profit in its latest quarter. Etsy jumped 6.9%.

A mix of companies that rely on direct consumer spending and those that would greatly benefit from a fuller economic reopening fell.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury remained steady at 0.91% from late Monday.

European markets were mixed. France’s CAC 40 was down less than 0.1%, Germany’s DAX lost 0.2% and the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.2%. Asian markets declined.

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