Stocks Pare Drop on Stopgap Bill Amid Aid Deadlock: Markets Wrap
Day traders at the forex trading floor at Barclays Capital (Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg)

Stocks Pare Drop on Stopgap Bill Amid Aid Deadlock: Markets Wrap

Stocks pared losses as lawmakers passed a stopgap spending bill to avert a federal-government shutdown, but gave no signals of an imminent stimulus deal.

In a volatile session, the S&P 500 quickly trimmed a slide that reached about 1% earlier Friday. The equity benchmark still notched its worst weekly drop since October amid an impasse over a relief package and concern about tougher restrictions as coronavirus cases swept across the nation. Giants Facebook Inc. and Tesla Inc. paced declines in the Nasdaq 100, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose as Walt Disney Co. soared to an all-time high after a bold forecast for its new streaming services.

With the clock ticking down on stimulus as lawmakers approach their year-end break, bipartisan talks are hung up on differences between Republicans and Democrats on shielding companies from virus-related lawsuits. While both sides are closer than ever to agreeing on a price tag -- coalescing around a $900 billion figure -- there’s no sign they can get a deal anytime soon. In the meantime, the U.S. appears poised to cross 300,000 Covid-19 deaths in the next week, a sign of the unprecedented gravity of the pandemic as states prepare for their first vaccinations.

Stocks Pare Drop on Stopgap Bill Amid Aid Deadlock: Markets Wrap

“It’s essential that Congress puts aside differences and finds agreement on a stimulus program before the end of the year,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda. “Lawmakers are running out of time.”

Earnings estimates for the next two years make U.S. stocks look more costly in historical terms than just one year’s worth of projections, or even past results.

The S&P 500 closed Thursday at 26 times earnings, using a gauge that takes estimates for the longer time period into account. That’s close to the Sept. 2 ratio of 27.2, the highest since data compiled by Bloomberg starts in 1990. This indicator was cited by Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital LP, in a presentation Tuesday. The benchmark hasn’t set a similar high relative to the past year’s earnings or next year’s estimates.

Elsewhere, the pound fell after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen both warned that a no-deal Brexit is looming on Dec. 31 as they continued last-ditch talks to try to reach a deal before Sunday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:


  • The S&P 500 fell 0.1% as of 4 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.8%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3%.


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.2%.
  • The euro fell 0.2% to $1.2115.
  • The British pound declined 0.5% to $1.3222.
  • The Japanese yen appreciated 0.2% to 104.04 per dollar.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 0.89%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield dipped three basis points to -0.64%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield decreased three basis points to 0.172%.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.4% to $46.61 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 0.1% to $1,839.02 an ounce.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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