Dow Breaks 4-Day Win Streak as Virus Restrictions Bite; Nasdaq Hits Record

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow broke its four-day win streak Monday as value stocks came under pressure from rising Covid-19 restrictions following a surge in cases over the past week, though losses were kept in check by optimism over an imminent vaccine roll out.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.49%, or 148 points. The S&P 500 was down 0.20%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.45% to close at record highs.

The $908 billion stimulus bipartisan deal remains in the balance as plans to bundle the relief package with a government funding bill – needed to prevent a government shutdown – have been dented by several issues yet to be resolved in order to get a spending plan over the line by the Friday deadline, The Washington Post reported.

Investors were hopeful that lawmakers would agree a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded, buying more time for lawmakers to iron out their differences on stimulus. Business liability insurance from coronavirus-related lawsuits and state as well as local government support are thought to be holding up the progress of a deal.

The urgency for a deal has been exacerbated by the latest rise Covid-19 cases that have led several states across the country to impose new restrictions to curb the spread.

U.S. infections from Covid-19 surged above 14.7 million on Sunday with 1.3 million cases seen over the past week.

But there is light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Pfizer 's (NYSE:PFE) emergency use authorization application for its vaccine, developed in partnership with BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) could be approved by the Federal and Drug Administration in the coming days.

If approval is granted, the roll out of the vaccine is expected to begin the following day.

But sectors of the market likely to benefit from a speedy rollout the vaccine made a poor start the week, paced by a decline in energy.

In tech, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose more than 1% to keep a lid on Intel-led weakness in the broader market. The chipmaker (NASDAQ:INTC) fell 3% on fears of rising competition on a report from Bloomberg suggesting Apple is planning to launch a new series of Mac processors next year to outperform Intel’s fastest chips.

In other news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) jumped 7% en route to fresh all-time highs as traders appeared to pile into the company's shares ahead of its inclusion in the S&P 500 on Dec. 21.

Original Article

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