Mixed day on Wall Street ahead of Thanksgiving


“The general themes are still intact, the hope for a vaccine that will herald a return to normalcy at some point in 2021,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

Stocks have been pushing higher this month, driving the S&P 500 up by more than 10 per cent, as investors have grown more hopeful that the development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments will help pave the way for the economy to recover next year.

This week, traders have also been encouraged by signs that the transition of power in the US to President-elect Joe Biden has begun. Wall Street is also welcoming Biden’s selection of former Fed chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary, analysts say.

Encouraging study results this month from drugmakers working on coronavirus vaccines and treatments have tempered lingering concerns over rising virus cases in the US, as well as in Asia and other parts of the world, and new government restrictions on businesses aimed at limiting the spread.

But signs that the pandemic continues to weigh on the economy remain in the forefront. On Wednesday, the government said the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 778,000.

Though financial markets continue making gains, hardship from the economic slump is still growing, McBride said, and both small businesses and consumers are “sorely in need” of additional financial stimulus.

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Treasury yields mostly fell, a sign of caution in the market. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped to 0.86 per cent from 0.87 per cent late on Tuesday.

Gap led the way lower in the S&P 500, falling 18.7 per cent, after the clothing retailer’s third-quarter results fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts.

Nordstrom climbed 19.3 per cent after the department store chain’s earnings improved in the third quarter, even as sales missed analysts’ forecasts.

Traders bid HP shares 2.7 per cent higher after the company delivered a solid quarterly report card.

In European markets, Germany’s DAX was flat, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.2 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.6 per cent.

AP

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