Shares of banks and other lenders and money managers fell as investors hedged their bets on the outlook for economic-stimulus negotiations.
One brokerage said the current rally in the stock market, which has brought the Standard & Poor's 500 to the brink of a new record, could continue, largely because of the plunge in interest rates, which makes the cost of capital cheap for both corporations and investors.
"The S&P 500 level has returned to its pre-pandemic high, but the building blocks supporting the price have shifted dramatically," said strategists at brokerage Goldman Sachs Group, in a note to clients.
"A plunging risk-free rate partially explains why equities have performed so well despite downward revisions to expected earnings."
Credit-card provider American Express has agreed to buy nearly all of financial technology Kabbage as it seeks to expand its services for small businesses.
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