U.S. stocks edged lower Friday but notched weekly gains, as investors tracked developments on a coronavirus aid package.

The S&P 500 slipped 13.07 points, or 0.4% to 3709.41. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 124.32 points, or 0.4%, to 30179.05. The Nasdaq Composite shed 9.11 points, or 0.1%, to 12755.64.

Friday’s stock moves mark a pause after major U.S. indexes clinched fresh highs this week on optimism about a stimulus package. Top Republicans and Democrats have been closing in on a coronavirus relief package that would send direct payments to many Americans, enhance unemployment benefits, provide aid to small businesses and fund distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, among other measures.

The S&P 500 and Dow rose 1.3% and 0.4%, respectively this week. The Nasdaq added 3.1% this week.

However, a deal still hasn’t been reached, while Covid-19 infections and measures to contain its spread continue to weigh on the economy.

”I think it’s all about stimulus,” said

Chris Zaccarelli,

chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance. “Anything that looks to slow that down or postpone that until January will be seen as a negative in the market.”

It was a particularly busy day in the stock market. Friday was quadruple witching, when options and futures on both indexes and stocks expire simultaneously. Additionally, a slew of indexes rebalanced, driving heavy activity across the market.

One index swap that traders have been buzzing about for weeks is that of Tesla, which is expected to join the S&P 500 on Monday, spurring heavy activity around the market close today. Dozens of index funds that track the S&P 500 needed to purchase tens of billions of dollars of stock at Friday’s closing price to follow the index as closely as possible.

The end of the trading day was especially busy. About 1.7 billion shares worth more than $150 billion traded in Nasdaq’s closing auction, the highest dollar amount ever.

Tesla shares jumped $39.10, or 6%, to $695.00, logging much of their advance in the last minutes of the trading session.

Apartment Investment & Management Co.

, which is leaving the S&P 500, fell 13 cents, or 2.8%, to $4.52.

In corporate news, shares of

FedEx

fell $16.69, or 5.7%, to $275.57 after the delivery company beat analyst profit expectations, but said higher revenue was partially offset by increased costs, including from safety equipment to protect workers from Covid-19.

Meanwhile, shares of

Darden Restaurants,

the parent of Olive Garden, fell 2.1% after it reported a same-store sales drop of about 21% for the sit-down chain’s second-quarter compared with last year’s period, missing analysts’ expectations.

And as stocks jumped to fresh highs this week, enthusiasm for riskier assets also extended to bitcoin, which surged above $20,000 on Wednesday for the first time in its 12-year history.

Stocks in Asia were mostly lower. The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials were debating how broad to make a list of Chinese companies banned from investment by Americans because of ties to China’s military. China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.3% lower and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.2%.

Shares in

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

fell 5.2% in Hong Kong trading after the Trump administration added China’s largest manufacturer of computing chips to the export blacklist, restricting the company’s access to high-end technology.

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 declined about 0.4%. Investors were closely watching negotiations between the U.K. and the European Union over a post-Brexit trade deal. Some expect that the British pound could rally further if a deal is reached. European negotiators have said they want a deal by Sunday.

“The clock is running down,” said

Hugh Gimber,

a strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

A Christmas tree decoration with the New York Stock Exchange’s logo, in Manhattan’s financial district.



Photo:

jeenah moon/Reuters

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com and Gunjan Banerji at Gunjan.Banerji@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



Source link