The major averages posted gains on Christmas Eve to wrap up the holiday-shortened week.The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 70 points, or 0.2%, to close at 30,199 while the S&P 500 gained 0.4%, or 13 points, to close at 3,703. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3%, or 33 points, to 12,804.
Shares of Alibaba dropped more than 13% following news the China-based e-commerce giant is the target of a new antitrust investigation by the Chinese government.
House Republicans on Thursday blocked Democrats' attempt to pass $2,000 direct payments as the fate of a coronavirus relief package passed by Congress hangs in the balance. The move came after President Donald Trump slammed the $900 billion bill, calling it an unsuitable "disgrace" because it calls for $600 rather than $2,000 checks.
The S&P 500 registered a 0.2% loss this week amid profit-taking action into the year-end. Policy uncertainty also dampened investors' spirits in the holiday week. The 30-stock Dow eked out a 0.1% gain for the week.
The Nasdaq rose 0.4% this week, while the Russell 2000 advanced 1.6% for its eighth straight week of gains — the longest weekly winning streak since Feb. 2019.
Investors also closely monitored progress on the vaccine rollout. The CDC said just over one million shots had been administered as of Wednesday, roughly 19 million doses shy of earlier projections from public health officials for December.
Elsewhere, the European Union and the United Kingdom on Thursday struck a historic trade deal, more than four years after the U.K. voted to leave the bloc.
With just four trading days left in the year, the Nasdaq is on pace to be the clear winner, currently up more than 42%. The Dow and S&P 500 are up 5.8% and 14.6%, respectively.
In other interesting developments, the UK and EU finalized a post-Brexit trade agreement, House Speaker Pelosi scheduled a full House vote on Monday to increase stimulus checks to $2000 from $600 after a unanimous consent resolution in the House was blocked, and there was chatter about President Trump possibly delaying the stimulus/government funding bills with a pocket veto.
The 10-yr yield was down three basis points to 0.93% ahead of the bond market close at 2:00 p.m. ET, while the 2-yr yield was down two basis points to 0.11%. The U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.1% to 90.32. WTI crude futures were up 0.3% to $48.24/bbl.
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