Wall Street Closing
New York, U.S. stocks finished mostly lower in a volatile session yesterday, as worries over a viral new Covid strain from Britain overwhelmed enthusiasm over a U.S. fiscal stimulus deal. Stocks initially plunged steeply but managed to erase most losses by the end of the session.
The U.S. dollar rose versus a basket of other currencies in a volatile holiday-shortened week, as a fast-spreading new coronavirus strain prevalent in Britain prompted investors to seek safety in the U.S. currency.
Gold fell as fears of a new coronavirus strain roiled markets and investors sought the dollar, but losses were limited by the U.S. fiscal stimulus deal. Futures declined 0.3 percent to $1,882.80 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil fell sharply as the fast-spreading virus strain that shut down much of Britain and led to tighter restrictions in Europe sparked worries about a slower recovery in fuel demand. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for January fell $1.36, or 2.8 percent, to $47.74 a barrel. The more active February WTI contract fell $1.83, or 3.7 percent, to $47.41.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 37.40, or 0.1 percent, to 30,216.45. Twenty-two of the index’s 30 components were lower, led by Intel and IBM, which dropped 2.3 and 2 percent, respectively.
Banks Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase surged 6.1 and 3.75 percent, respectively, after the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) announced it will allow the industry to resume share buybacks in 2021. Nike jumped 4.9 percent to a record high after reporting strong quarterly results.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14.49, or 0.4 percent, to 3,694.92. Shares of airlines and cruise-ship operators fell as at least two dozen countries suspended flights from Britain over the new Covid strain. But banks stocks surged on the Fed announcement on share repurchases.
Tesla dropped 6.5 percent as it entered the S&P 500 with a 1.7 percent weighting in the index, the fifth largest. The stock, which has rallied 700 percent this year, fell to its session low following a report that Apple is proceeding with its plan to produce electric vehicles.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 13.12, or 0.1 percent, to 12,742.52. Facebook dropped 1.3 percent, and Netflix lost 1 percent. Apple climbed 1.2 percent, Google-parent Alphabet advanced 0.5 percent, and Amazon added 0.1 percent.
Source: Saudi Press Agency