United States stocks dip as market awaits Biden stimulus plan

Wall Street ends lower as investors weighed stimulus hopes and bleak jobs data

Wall Street ends lower as investors weighed stimulus hopes and bleak jobs data

President-elect Joe Biden's massive plan to help the United States economy didn't shake Wall Street's downbeat sentiment on Friday, with major indices losing ground in the last full trading week of Donald Trump's presidency.

Falling bank stocks were some of the heaviest weights on the market, even though several of the industry's biggest names reported stronger profits for the end of 2020 than analysts expected. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 177.26 points, or 0.6%, to 30,814.26, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 114.14, or 0.9%, to 12,998.50.

As of 1230 GMT, Dow Jones futures were down 0.40%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.29% and 0.03% lower, respectively.

The S&P 500 was down 9.16 points, or 0.24 percent, to 3,786.38. US consumers cut back on spending in December, the peak of the holiday season, as the country confronted a surge in coronavirus infections. The chip manufacturer's US shares closed up 5 percent after it announced its best-ever quarterly profit and raised revenue and capital spending estimates.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased to 795,000 last week from 787,000, the Labor Department's report is expected to show, which could underscore the impact of resurgent Covid-19 infections on the job market.

"When you see data this bad, you have to question if the prevailing expectation - for cyclical recovery to come through - if that would be shaken", Ms. Li said.

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Investors will also get an indication of how confident American households are when the University of MI releases preliminary January figures for its consumer sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET. Citigroup slid over 2% as it reported fourth-quarter results.

Exxon Mobil Corp fell 2.7% after a report said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation of the oil major, following a whistleblower's complaint that the company overvalued a key asset in the prolific Permian shale oil basin. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of USA economic activity.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 1.09% from 1.11% late Thursday. Yields fall when bond prices rise. The bank sector had rallied sharply in recent days. "So if there is a day when they're not leading, it's not good news for the market". "The numbers are really quite incredible and I think it is going to all add up to a boom in growth once the vaccines are rolled out". The S&P 500 is on pace for a drop of 1.2% this week, which would be its first in the last three.

Trading in Asia ended on a mixed note.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.9%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index also jumped 0.9%.

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