US stocks finish mixed as vaccine rally rolls on

Vaccine hopes continued to lift sentiment on Wall Street for a third straight session, while investors snapped up Big Tech shares that were beaten down on Monday and Tuesday.

Wall Street's main indexes opened in the positive on Veteran's Day in New York as investors cling to hopes that a vaccine will soon be delivered [File: Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

Wall Street’s main stock indexes posted a mixed finish on Wednesday as positive news of a COVID-19 vaccine trial continued to lift investor hopes that the economy could be poised to return to normal next year and tech stocks rallied after heavy losses earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session down a little more than 23 points or 0.08 percent at 29,397.63.

The broader S&P 500 closed up 0.77 percent while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained a little more than 2 percent on the day.

Stocks kicked the week off with a massive rally sparked by promising phase-three trial results for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

That saw investors move out of tech stocks and other “stay-at-home” plays and buy shares of firms that have been battered by the pandemic, such as airlines, hotels, cruise lines, movie theatres.

But tech was back in fashion again on Wednesday as investors went bargain hunting.


Construction workers wait in line to do a temperature test to return to the job site after lunch, amid the coronavirus outbreak in Manhattan, New York, US [File: Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

The hopeful news on the vaccine front came amid a grim spike in infections in Europe and the US.

Major economies in Europe have already reintroduced business-sapping lockdowns to curb skyrocketing COVD-19 cases.

In the US, where new infections are averaging 120,000 a day, restrictions have been ordered in New York, California and parts of the Midwest.

Meanwhile, the economic scars of the early pandemic months are deepening as millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet.

The economic boost from some $3 trillion in virus relief aid from Congress earlier this year has pretty much ebbed, and Washington has yet to pass a new stimulus package.

Social safety nets enacted earlier in the year are set to expire by year’s end including the CDC’s moratorium on evictions.

Meanwhile, political divisiveness in Washington, DC is growing with President Donald Trump not yet conceding defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. Trump and his supporters continue to make unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and his campaign has launched more than a dozen legal challenges to voter counts in various states.

Among stocks making headlines on Wednesday:

Shares of Lyft Inc closed up just shy of 1 percent after the ride-hailing and delivery app announced it was working on a new service in the burgeoning food-security market.

Source: Al Jazeera