Shares ended a week higher and lower on a bearish Wall Street note on Friday, taking 0.7% off the S&P 500
The S&P 500 fell 0.7%, erasing yesterday’s gains. The benchmark, which hit an all-time high on Monday, posted its first weekly decline after two weeks of gains. The index is still up 8.8% so far this month.
Technology, financial and industrial companies drove much of the sales, which became volatile in the last hour of regular trading. Yields on Treasuries were mostly lower, a sign of caution in the market. Stock indexes around the world have made modest movements.
Traders are balancing cautious optimism that an effective coronavirus vaccine will be widely distributed next year against nervousness over the surge in virus cases and the economic impact of new restrictions put in place in the United States on people and businesses to limit the spread.
“It’s a market concerned with growth,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “This is the great uncertainty.”
The S&P 500 fell 24.33 points to 3,557.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 219.75 points, or 0.7%, to 29,263.48. The Nasdaq composite gave up an early gain and fell 49.74 points, or 0.4%, to 11,854.97.
Small business stocks held up better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index rose 1.21 points, or 0.1%, to 1,785.34.
Wall Street suddenly started to falter this week after a large November rally swept the S&P 500 and Dow to record highs. Evidence is mounting for investors both to hope for the outlook for the economy next year and to fear short-term damage.
On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they would submit a request to U.S. regulators for emergency use of their vaccine candidate. Data suggests it may be 95% effective in preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease.
On the pessimistic side, more and more governments around the world are bringing back restrictions on daily life to slow the spread of the virus. Soaring coronavirus numbers and hospitalizations also threaten to scare consumers enough to keep them squatting at home and hurt the economy.
“The market is supposed to be looking to the future, but the reality is that it’s hard to look past what has happened in recent weeks,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. “The other thing that is of major concern is the people who find themselves locked out in the main areas of the country. What is it going to be for businesses? “
The governor of California on Thursday evening announced a curfew for most residents of the state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking Americans not to travel on Thanksgiving, and authorities in Lisbon in Sri Lanka have announced varying degrees restrictions.
“On the road on the other side of the pandemic there are detours and we are on one of those detours,” Krosby said.
The US Treasury Department also said Thursday night it would not extend several emergency loan programs put in place with the Federal Reserve during the worst of the spring turmoil to help support markets and the economy.
The announcement was immediately rejected by the Fed, which kept the accelerator on the ground on its support for the economy while asking politicians in the White House and Congress to do the same. The central bank said it “would prefer that all emergency facilities” created during the pandemic remain.
But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said shutting down emergency loan programs could allow Congress to reallocate $ 455 billion from other relief programs. Democrats and Republicans in Washington have stalled in efforts to provide another round of financial support to the economy after the additional benefits for laid-off workers and other stimulus measures approved in the spring expired. .
The majority of S&P 500 stocks fell, with tech companies taking the biggest losses. Apple fell 1.1%, while Intuit fell 3.8%.
Travel-related titles also declined. Cruise lines were among the biggest decline. Norwegian Cruise Line slipped 4.9% and Carnival slipped 4.5%.
On the winning side, Williams-Sonoma rose 6.6% after reporting higher earnings and revenue for the last quarter than analysts expected.
The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 0.83% from 0.84% Thursday night.
European markets closed moderately higher and Asian markets ended mixed.
Yuri Kageyama, AP business writer, contributed.