Stocks Finish Mixed, Dow Flat Amid Virus Concern, Stimulus Accord

Stocks finished mixed Monday after a new coronavirus strain in the U.K. prompted fresh lockdowns and travel restrictions and overshadowed the announcement that congressional leaders reached an agreement on a roughly $900 billion stimulus package.

© TheStreet Stocks Finish Mixed, Dow Flat Amid Virus Concern, Stimulus Accord

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 37 points, or 0.12%, to 30,216. The Dow had been down as much as 424 points, or 1.4%, during Monday’s session.

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The S&P 500 fell 0.39% and the Nasdaq Composite eased 0.1%.

Key Dow industrials advancers were Goldman Sachs , Nike and JPMorgan Chase . On the losing side: Intel and IBM .

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In Europe, stocks fell sharply after the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in the U.K. prompted many European nations to ban flights from Great Britain. London and the southeast of England were in full lockdown just ahead of Christmas.

Travel stocks in the U.S. fell Monday but they, too, rebounded during the session.

Both the House and Senate likely will vote Monday on the pandemic relief bill, which includes supplemental unemployment benefits of $300 a week through March, and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans.

The bill also will include $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses, according to Bloomberg. The legislation is expected to be approved in both chambers.

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President Donald Trump will sign the legislation, according to the White House.

The vote on the relief package will come amid a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. and across the globe.

“The news that Congress reached a deal on a fifth coronavirus relief bill is encouraging and removes some ambiguity that had been out there for some time,” said Brian Price, head of investment management for commonwealth financial network.

“There did not appear to be many upside market catalysts in this bill, however, as we’re still clearly in a precarious phase with the virus,” he added.

“News of a new virus strain in the U.K. appear to be causing a lot of (Monday’s) risk-off trade in global equities as many fear new and prolonged economic lockdowns.

Tesla , added to the S&P 500 on Monday, traded lower in its debut as part of the stock market benchmark index, falling 6.5% to $649.86.

On Friday the Palo Alto, Calif., electric-vehicle producer’s shares had closed at an all-time high of $695, up 6%, on demand from index funds.

Tesla, with a market cap of more than $650 billion, is the most valuable company ever added to the S&P 500.

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A week after the rollout of the nation’s first vaccine for Covid-19, deliveries for the second one, developed by the Cambridge, Mass., biotech company Moderna , began Monday.

Moderna’s vaccine received an endorsement on Saturday from an advisory committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in Americans aged 18 and older. Moderna shares on Monday finished down 1.4% at $138.30.

The Food and Drug Administration granted the vaccine emergency use authorization on Friday.

This article was originally published by TheStreet.

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