Day Traders Diary


Stocks closed little changed on Thursday as lawmakers struggled to push through new fiscal stimulus before year-end. Sentiment was also dampened by the release of weaker-than-expected jobless claims data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 70 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 dipped 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed with a 0.5% gain as Netflix and Apple each rose more than 1%.

Verizon and IBM each fell at least 1% to lead the Dow lower. Industrials dragged down the S&P 500, pulling back by 0.9%.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that bipartisan negotiations were leading to "great progress" for an additional government aid package. However, Pelosi added that both sides were still debating over a liability waiver for businesses.

Democrats again endorsed a $908 billion bipartisan stimulus proposal, but Politico reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's staff told other congressional leaders' offices that senate Republicans would not support the measure.

McConnell has said he wants Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill with neither legal immunity for businesses nor state and local government relief. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said McConnell's proposal to move stimulus talks forward without state and local government aid is not in good faith.

The House of Representatives passed a government funding extension Wednesday that would keep the federal government running through Dec. 18 and buy time for further negotiations for a bigger relief bill.

Frank Rybinski, chief macro strategist at Aegon Asset Management, said failure to reach a deal on stimulus could hurt risk assets in the near term.

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