Stocks ended the session lower across the board in a choppy session of trading.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 219 points or 0.75% led lower by Boeing and American Express.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||29263.48||-219.75||-0.75%|
|AXP||AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY||112.58||-1.56||-1.37%|
While the S&P 500 fell 0.68% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.4%. For the week, stocks ended little changed.
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||11854.969725||-49.74||-0.42%|
Stimulus talks continued among congressional leaders one day after the U.S. Treasury moved to end some coronavirus pandemic lending programs given to the Federal Reserve that the central bank considered “essential.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote a letter to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, asking the Fed to return the unused $455 billion given to it under the CARES Act to help the struggling U.S. economy.
The move was not expected by Fed officials, who immediately told Mnuchin the programs should be extended after Mnuchin’s letter was made public.
COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRESS
The week was filled with positive COVID-19 vaccine progress, in what was described as “hope and help are on the way,” according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Drugmaker Pfizer said it’s filing for emergency use approval for its COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. After the market close, the Food & Drug Administration said it has targeted Dec. 10 for its meeting of an advisory committee to discuss the Emergency Use Authorization request.
Azar telling FOX Business the vaccine approval could come within “weeks”, he also noted as previously reported that Moderna might follow suit shortly. The two drug companies have each completed their Phase III trials for their drugs, which showed 95% and 94.% efficacy rates, respectively.
Pfizer is partnering with German drug company BioNTech on its drug, known as BNT162b2.
Gilead Sciences shares fell ]after the World Health Organization advised against using remdesivir for COVID-19 patients, noting there is no evidence it helps with survival. The U.S. FDA has previously approved remdesivir for treating COVID-19.
This as cases of COVID-19 have accelerated in recent days, with the country reporting 170,161 new cases Wednesday, the second-highest daily figure. More than 11.7 million people have been infected by the virus, resulting in over 252,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against traveling for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as cases surge nationwide.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 8 cents to $41.74 per barrel. In other commodities, gold rose slightly to $1,862.10 an ounce.