- US equities edged lower on Friday as investors weighed healthy quarterly earnings against fresh signs of a prolonged recession and concerns about an economic-stimulus agreement.
- The agriculture giant Deere & Co. gained in early trading after beating Wall Street’s expectations and boosting its profit guidance.
- But traders continued to sell stocks on fears of a longer-than-expected slump. Treasury yields fell slightly amid a move to havens.
- Oil dropped further after Thursday’s strong decline. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.5%, to $41.91 per barrel.
- Watch major indexes update live here.
US stocks edged lower on Friday to close out a week that saw multiple major indexes hit record highs.
Investors sold equities near all-time highs as they weighed strong corporate earnings against continued virus uncertainty. The agriculture giant Deere & Co. gained in early trading after beating quarterly estimates and raising its profit forecast.
But traders continued to trim risk on fears of a longer-than-expected recession. Treasury yields ticked slightly lower, and the dollar extended gains after tanking to a two-year low earlier in the week.
Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Friday:
- S&P 500: 3,381.32, down 0.1%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 27,735.88, down 0.1% (4 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 11,262.05, down 0.1%
“The mid-summer drag has well and truly taken hold as investors prepare for a bumper end to the year,” Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda Europe, said in a note. “Perhaps a breather is what we need.”
The market decline came after rallying tech stocks erased losses in Thursday trading. Investors got their latest sign of a weakening economic recovery on Thursday morning when the Labor Department said jobless claims climbed to 1.1 million last week; economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a reading of 920,000.
Traders found some optimism in vaccine news from Pfizer and BioNTech. The companies said late Thursday that their experimental coronavirus vaccine could be sent to regulators for approval as early as October. They also said the latest study of the vaccine found fewer side effects than past trials.
Oil continued to trend lower as fears of weak demand escalated. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.5%, to $41.94 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 1.7%, to $44.11 per barrel, at intraday lows.
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