US stocks fall from record highs as Congress nears deadline without stimulus agreement

US stocks fall from record highs as Congress nears deadline without stimulus agreement
Getty Images / Bryan R. Smith
  • US equities fell from record highs on Friday as Congress continued to iron out stimulus details.
  • Congress has until midnight to agree on a deal before government funding lapses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that a deal "is very close at hand."
  • Other lawmakers indicated Congress could enter the weekend without passing a funding bill, dooming the US to a government shutdown.
  • The $900 billion stimulus package is set to include a round of $600 direct payments, funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, and bolstered federal unemployment benefits.
  • Oil futures edged higher on hopes for stimulus to lift demand. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.9%, to $49.28 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks fell from record highs on Friday as stimulus talks continued ahead of a key deadline.

Congress has just hours to finalize a new relief package before government funding lapses at midnight. If lawmakers can't reach a deal, they're set to pass a short-term funding bill for the second week in a row to continue stimulus talks into Christmas week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Friday that he feels "more optimistic now" than he was last night, adding that a package "is very close at hand."
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The $900 billion relief package is set to include a round of $600 direct payments, funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, and bolstered federal unemployment benefits.
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Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Friday:

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Some lawmakers indicated that Congress could enter the weekend without a funding bill, leaving such legislation for early next week. With indicators showing the economic recovery weakening further as winter sets in, additional fiscal support could be crucial to staving off a double-dip recession.
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The broad slide came after the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and the Dow closed at record highs on Thursday amid growing hopes for a stimulus breakthrough.

Food and Drug Administration advisors endorsed Moderna's coronavirus vaccine on Thursday evening, moving the shot closer to an emergency use authorization. The FDA authorized Pfizer's shot last week. Read more: A Wall Street investment chief says the bond market's smart money could be repeating an error that shortchanged investors after the 2008 crisis. He explains why history will repeat itself - and how his firm is taking advantage.
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Friday is the last trading day before Tesla joins the S&P 500 index. The automaker climbed to record highs in Friday trading. Goldman Sachs strategists said in a recent note that although the automaker's inclusion would have a notable impact on the benchmark's performance, it wouldn't make the S&P 500 as expensive as some expect.

Virgin Galactic tumbled after shareholders moved to sell as many as 113 million shares. A regulatory filing detailing the plans didn't specify when the sales might begin.

Bitcoin hovered below $23,000 after reaching a record high of $23,770.85 on Thursday.
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Gold edged 0.4% lower, to $1,877.46 per ounce, at intraday lows. The US dollar strengthened against a basket of Group-of-10 currencies, and Treasury yields rose.

Oil prices gained amid hopes that stimulus could boost demand. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.9%, to $49.28 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, jumped 1.9%, to $52.47 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:
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JPMorgan says stocks are primed for sustained gains in a way they haven't been in years - and identifies 43 names to buy for above-average earnings growth in 2021

A GOP senator's push to stifle Fed lending is the latest example of Republicans hampering stimulus progress

Tesla's upcoming S&P 500 inclusion won't make the index as expensive as some expect, Goldman Sachs says
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