The Dow dropped 0.2%, the Nasdaq declined 0.1%, and the S&P 500 lost 0.4%
The Dow ended Thursday 69 points below the flatline, a 0.2% dip after being up more than 150 earlier in the session. The Nasdaq fell 16 points, 0.1%, to 13,112, and the S&P 500 dropped 14 points, 0.4%, to 3,795. Both spent most of the day in positive territory.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to unveil a stimulus package near but below $2 trillion in a speech Thursday night, according to media reports, and is expected to announce $1,400 coronavirus relief checks.
Tech stocks struggled again, and Facebook continued its rocky week. The social media giant’s shares fell 2.4% to $245.64.
Equities are up slightly as traders are hopeful Mr Biden will set out plans for a stimulus package, CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden wrote Thursday. The initial jobless claims reading jumped from 784,000 to 965,000 — its highest level since August. Last week the headline US non-farm payrolls showed that 140,000 jobs were lost in December — the worst reading in eight months.
The main indices on Wall Street started Thursday’s session on the front foot as traders seemed to shrug off worse than expected jobless data to instead focus on incoming spending plans from president-elect Joe Biden.
Investors appear to be holding out hope that Biden’s spending plans, which will be enough to pull the US out of its economic slump and reverse what appears to be an ever-worsening unemployment crisis.
There may also be hopes that Biden will take more drastic measures to get the pandemic under control and coordinate vaccination efforts more effectively, a strategy that is ultimately more likely to rejuvenate the economy than any amount of government spending.
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