Stocks fell throughout Friday's session as raising coronavirus cases reignited fear sentiment as more U.S. states and cities imposed social restrictions that threaten business activity and economic recovery. Market participants also were concerned over an apparent disagreement between the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve over the renewal of some pandemic emergency lending programs.
Dampening sentiment even further, JPMorgan economists noted on Friday that coronavirus-related restrictions will likely lead to an economic contraction in the first quarter of 2021. The firm become Wall Street's first to forecast negative G.D.P. growth for the start of the year, expecting a 1% contraction.
Yet, investors were encouraged by the steady flow of positive vaccine news issued throughout the week. On Friday, Pfizer (PFE ) and BioNTech (BNTX ) filed for an emergency use approval (E.U.A.) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) for their coronavirus vaccine candidate. The F.D.A. is set to make a decision regarding that E.U.A. proposal in early December.
For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 posted their first weekly declines in three weeks, with the Dow falling 0.7% and the S&P dropping 0.8%. The Nasdaq ended the week with a surprise gain of 0.2%.
Here's how the market settled to close out the week:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): -0.68% or -24.25 points to 3,557.62
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): -0.75% or -219.95 points to 29,263.15
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): -0.42% or -49.74 points to 11,854.97
For Stock News, Zoom Video (ZM ) shares rallied on Friday as more coronavirus restrictions were initiated throughout the United States. Mega-cap tech names had a tough time gaining amid Friday's broad sell off, with Amazon (AMZN ), Apple (AAPL ), Facebook (FB ), Google (GOOGL ) and Microsoft (MSFT ) all falling lower.
For Stock Performance, all sectors on the S&P 500 finished in the red, with Utilities (XLV ) falling slightly into negative territory in last minute trading. Information Technology (XLK ) fell the most at over 1%, while Industrials (XLI ) and Financials (XLF ) were not too far behind.
For Commodities and Currency, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) fell to a more than one-week low on Friday as investors focused on the near-term possibility of additional coronavirus stimulus. The dollar index was down 0.1% to 92.281, falling for eight out of the last 10 sessions. Gold (GLD ) prices rose higher after the U.S. Treasury Secretary signaled that more stimulus will be negotiated. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,872.95 per ounce, but was down 0.8% for the week. Gold futures settled 0.7% higher to $1,872.40 per ounce. Crude oil futures increased on Friday, posting their third consecutive weekly rise, as coronavirus vaccine optimism boosted prices. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) increased 1.3% to $44.79 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate's contract for December was 0.98% higher at $42.15 per barrel. Both benchmarks were up over 4% for the week.
For the week ahead, market participants will be focused on two issues: coronavirus restrictions imposed before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and economic recovery signs like further stimulus and vaccine news.