Stocks Slip After Dow's 30000 Milestone
By Will Horner and Amber Burton
The Dow Jones Industrial retreated Wednesday, sliding back below
30000 after mixed economic data and the continued rise in Covid-19
Wednesday's decline marked a pause in a rally fueled by hopes
for Covid-19 vaccines and easing concerns around the U.S.
presidential transition. President-elect Joe Biden's pick of former
Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary has also
increased hopes of sizable stimulus measures.
Countering that optimism are concerns that the coronavirus
pandemic continues to threaten households and raises the prospect
of further restrictions. As of Tuesday, there were 88,080
hospitalized patients in the U.S., a record high for a 15th
consecutive day, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
The blue-chip index fell 173.77 points, or 0.6%, to 29872.47
points, a day after breaching the 30000 milestone for the first
time. The S&P 500 lost 5.76 points, or 0.2%, to 3629.65. The
technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 57.62 points, or 0.5%, to
12094.40, notching its 44th record close of 2020 and its first
since early September.
"The market is trying to balance itself between the short-term
outlook of a winter wave of Covid cases and the more positive
medium-term outlook, thanks to the vaccine and the recovery that
will follow," said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global
The declines followed a slate of mixed readings on the U.S.
economic recovery, with some data releases brought forward due to
Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets are shut Thursday and
close early on Friday.
Weekly figures from the Labor Department showed jobless claims
rose for a second consecutive week, a sign that resurging Covid-19
cases are taking a toll on the labor market. Meanwhile, durable
goods orders rose by more than forecast.
C onsumer spending rose in October for the sixth consecutive
month, according to the Commerce Department, though the gain was
the smallest over that period. Household income fell 0.7%, in part
due to dwindling support from government aid efforts.
Gap lost $5.27, or 20%, to $21.60 after reporting flat sales in
the third quarter. Executives at the retailer cautioned that rising
virus cases would likely weigh on store visits during the crucial
holiday shopping season.
The fall in incomes and rise in jobless claims has left some
investors concerned for the near future, especially without
increased pandemic aid from Washington, D.C.
Megan Horneman, director of portfolio strategy at Verdence
Capital Advisors, said she is looking forward to seeing the results
of holiday sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
"Remember, if the consumer is not moving, then the economy is
not moving, " she said.
U.S. government bonds wavered after the Federal Reserve released
minutes from its Nov. 4-5 meeting, which showed officials discussed
ways it might adjust its bond-buying program to provide more
stimulus to the economy but didn't signal any imminent changes. The
yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note settled at
0.878%, compared with 0.873% just before the minutes were released
and 0.881% at Tuesday's close. Yields rise when bond prices
In commodities, U.S. crude oil prices rose 1.8%, to $45.71 per
barrel. Gold prices ticked up less than 0.1% to $1805.70 a troy
Overseas, the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1%, weighed
down by declines in auto makers and energy companies. Asian
benchmarks were mixed, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 ending the day
0.5% higher, while China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.2%.
Write to Will Horner at William.Horner@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 25, 2020 17:24 ET (22:24 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.