Benchmarks Settle Lower Ahead Of Stimulus Announcement

Stocks spent most of the day trading solidly higher, before giving back most of their gains during the last hour of trading. The Dow finished just south of breakeven, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also settled in the red -- the latter dampened by losses in the tech sector. Investors weighed today's disappointing jobless data against hopes that president-elect Joe Biden will roll out a bulkier stimulus package. The future president is expected to unveil a relief plan that will increase direct payments to Americans, extend unemployment insurance, and provide support for state and local governments. What also kept stocks afloat for most of the day was news that Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) trial data for its one-dose Covid-19 vaccine showed a promising immune response. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 30,991.52) lost 68.9 points, dropping 0.2 point for the day. Intel (INTC) once again led the gainers with a 4% win, while Visa (V) settled to the bottom with a 3.6% drop.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,795.5closed down 14.3 points or 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 13,112.64) dropped 16.3 points, or 0.1%.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 23.25) tacked on roughly 1 point, or 4.7%.

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Closing Indexes Summary Jan 14

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Jan 14

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Corporate Earnings Jan 14

Unusual Options Activity Jan 14

OIL PRICES BOUNCE BACK TO PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS

Oil made a comeback today, closing at its highest level since February 2019, thanks to the continued Covid-19 vaccine rollout, as well as optimism surrounding Biden's stimulus package. February-dated crude added 66 cents, or almost 1.3%, to settle at $53.57 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold gave back some of yesterday's gains, weakened by strengthening U.S. bond yields, a strong dollar and the possibility of further economic relief. February-dated gold lost $3.50, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,851.40 an ounce.

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