The major U.S. stock indexes finished lower on Wednesday, dipping from record levels reached early in the session as investors grew frustrated over the lackluster progress of economic stimulus talks, while a drop in Facebook shares also weighed on sentiment.
Positive updates on the COVID-19 vaccine development along with hopes for a fresh fiscal stimulus package have helped fuel a rise in Wall Street’s main indexes to all-time highs, with the S&P 500 surpassing 3,700 for the first time on Tuesday.Advertisement
In the cash market on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 3672.82, down 29.43 or -0.87%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 30068.81, down 105.07 or -0.38% and the tech-weighted NASDAQ Composite closed at 12338.95, down 243.82 or -2.18%.
Lawmakers Dragging Their Feet on COVID-19 Relief
Besides the euphoria created by the positive coronavirus vaccine developments, investors have been banking on a long-awaited relief package to help buttress an economy battered from the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns that has led to millions of layoffs and overwhelmed the healthcare system. However, the lack of progress in reaching a deal that actually stretches way back to before the November elections may have finally hit the breaking point with investors on Wednesday.
Earlier today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers were still looking for a path toward an agreement on COVID-19 aid, as the U.S. House of Representatives prepared to vote on a one-week funding bill to provide more time for a deal.Advertisement
Facebook Faces US Lawsuits that Could Force Sale of Instagram, WhatsApp
Facebook Inc could be forced to sell its prized assets WhatsApp and Instagram after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and nearly every U.S. state filed lawsuits against the social media company, saying it used a “buy or bury” strategy to snap up rivals and keep smaller competitors at bay.
The complaints on Wednesday accuse Facebook of buying up rivals, focusing specifically on its previous acquisitions of photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.
Facebook shares fell as much as 3% after the news before paring losses to close down 1.9%.
Home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos Inc jumped after announcing a new $15 billion share repurchase plan.
Drugmaker Eli Lilly climbed after flagging positive data from a late-stage clinical trial for its experimental drug designed to treat type 2 diabetes.
DoorDash Inc opened at $182 after pricing at $102 per share in its debut on Wednesday after the food delivery startup raised $3.37 billion in one of the biggest U.S. stock market launches so far in 2020.