US stocks fall from record highs as Congress nears deadline without stimulus agreement
- 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."
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.
Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Friday:
- S&P 500: 3,709.83, down 0.34%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 30,187.86, down 0.38% (115.51 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 12,755.64 down 0.07%
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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