Stocks fell for a third day in a row on Thursday as hope for a U.S. coronavirus stimulus deal continues to decrease while infections across Europe are on the rise.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average made up ground against the breakeven point after losses of about 300 points earlier in the day, but still fell short 19.8 points by Thursday’s closing bell to 28,494.20.
The S&P 500 fell 5.33 points to 3,483.34.
The NASDAQ was lower 54.86 points to 11,713.87.
Facebook led most of Big Tech lower, falling 1.9% amid rising regulatory concerns. Amazon dipped 0.8%. Alphabet and Microsoft each fell 0.5% and Apple dipped 0.4%. Those losses were somewhat offset by gains in bank and energy names. JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup were all up more than 1%. Exxon Mobil picked up 0.9% and Chevron gained 0.8%.
Morgan Stanley reported third quarter profit of $1.66 per share, exceeding the $1.28 estimate of analysts. It generated revenue of $11.7 billion on the back of strong trading, a billion dollars more than the estimate. Shares of Morgan Stanley were up 1.3%.
Walgreens also posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher sales at U.S. pharmacies. The drugstore chain said it expects profit to grow in single digits in 2021. Shares of Walgreens popped 4.8%.
Investors are waiting for any sign a coronavirus aid deal is still possible. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the media that he and President Donald Trump are committed to getting a stimulus deal done and that while it will be hard to get one done before the election, they will keep trying.
Worse-than-expected jobless claims also weighed on sentiment. The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday 898,000 new claims were filed for jobless benefits in the prior week, higher than a Dow Jones estimate of 830,000.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury lost ground, lifting yields back up to Wednesday’s 0.73%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices were down two cents at $41.02 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices moved ahead $4.60 to $1,911.90