STOCKS MOSTLY FALL BUT TECH GAINS PUSH NASDAQ TO SET RECORD
Stocks gave back some of their recent gains Wednesday as a batch of discouraging economic data prompted investors to take a pause a day after the market’s record-setting climb, Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The S&P 500 dropped 0.2% a day after setting an all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped below 30,000, a day after crossing that milestone for the first time. Industrial, energy and health care companies accounted for much of the decline. Technology companies rose, driving the Nasdaq composite to a record high.
Despite the pullback, Wall Street closed up shop for the Thanksgiving holiday with the benchmark S&P 500 is still up 11% this month. The S&P 500 fell 5.76 points to 3,629.65. The Dow gave up 173.77 points, or 0.6%, to 29,872.47. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 57.62 points, or 0.5%, to 12,094.40. The index, which is on a three-day winning streak, last hit an all-time high on Sept. 2. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 8.51 points, or 0.5%, to 1,845.02.
Still, signs that the pandemic continues to weigh on the economy remain in the forefront. On Wednesday, the government said the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 778,000, the highest level in five weeks. Other data painted a similarly discouraging economic picture. The Commerce Department said U.S. consumer spending, the primary driver of the economy, rose by a sluggish 0.5% in October, the weakest gain since April when the pandemic first erupted. At the same time, the government said that income, which provides the fuel for consumer spending, fell 0.7% in October.