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* Pfizer up on plans to submit U.S. EUA for COVID-19 vaccine
* Ross Stores gains after results
* Dow down 0.3%, S&P falls 0.1%, Nasdaq up 0.2%
Nov 20 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow slipped on Friday
with a surge in coronavirus cases threatening to derail a
fragile economic recovery, even as plans were announced for
ending several of the Federal Reserve's economic support
The Nasdaq edged 0.2% higher, boosted by a rise in shares of
stay-at-home darlings Zoom Video Communications Inc and
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday defended
his decision to end several of the Fed's pandemic lending
programs on Dec. 31, saying Congress should use the money to
help small U.S. companies with grants instead.
The decision to end the programs, which were deemed
essential by the central bank, comes as data showed a rise in
jobless claims last week as new restrictions to control
spiraling COVID-19 infections likely led to a fresh wave of
"From a psychological standpoint it (expiry of certain Fed
loan programs) could make people a little nervous," said Mike
Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility
"But the facility that is being terminated hasn't been
utilized, so the fact that it's going away in December is not
going to have a direct impact on anything."
Meanwhile, California and Ohio imposed nightly curfews on
Thursday, with new hospitalizations jumping nearly 50% in the
past two weeks in the United States.
The S&P 500 and the Dow were set for their first weekly
losses in three weeks, as investors juggled between growing
optimism over an effective coronavirus vaccine and near-term
economic damage from the surging infections.
Hopes of a fiscal stimulus package were revived after U.S.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell decided to resume relief talks on
"There is a very dangerous race occurring, which is how fast
can vaccinations start versus how fast infections are spreading
in the country," said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research
at Harvest Volatility Management.
Major banks have upgraded their stock market forecasts for
2021 following recent promising data from COVID-19 vaccine
At 11:34 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 85.64 points, or 0.29%, to 29,397.59, the S&P 500
fell 4.74 points, or 0.13%, to 3,577.13 and the Nasdaq Composite
gained 17.92 points, or 0.15%, to 11,922.64.
All major S&P sectors slipped, barring utilities
Microchip Technology Inc jumped 5% after the
chipmaker's quarterly profit and revenue came in above
estimates. The Philadelphia SE semiconductor index gained
Pfizer Inc rose 1.2% as the company said it has
applied to U.S. health regulators for emergency use
authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine.
Apparel and home fashion retailer Ross Stores Inc
gained 1% after its quarterly sales topped expectations.
Declining issues matched advancing ones on the NYSE, and on
the Nasdaq a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 132 new highs and eight new
(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh in Bengaluru;
Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)