U.S. stock markets were little changed on the final trading day of the year as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again scuttled a quick vote on increasing the size of stimulus checks to $2,000.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES30400.74-8.82-0.03%SP500S&P 5003731.87-0.17-0.00%I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12841.09149-28.91-0.22%Powered by

McConnell wants the upsized checks to be tied to several of President Trump's priorities, including a repeal of Section 230 liability protections for online platforms and an investigation into election security.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading higher by 10 points, or 0.04%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.03% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.22%.

With one trading day to go this year, the Dow had advanced 6.56%, the S&P 500 had climbed 16% and the Nasdaq Composite had soared 43%.

The major averages will remain open for a full day of trading with record highs in reach for all three of the major averages.


Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell to 787,000 in the week ended Dec. 26. from an upwardly revised 806,000. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the total of first-time unemployment filings to rise by 30,000 to 833,000. Continuing claims, meanwhile, fell to 5.219 million versus the 5.39 million that analysts were anticipating.

Looking at stocks, Exxon Mobil Corp. plans to take a $20 billion write-down, mostly on natural gas properties, the company said in a regulatory filing out Wednesday. The oil major, which also noted gains in its chemical and oil businesses, had previously expected a write-down of $17 billion to $20 billion.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION41.05-0.56-1.33%CVXCHEVRON CORP.84.10-1.27-1.49%Powered by

In deals, Tribune Publishing Co. received a takeover bid from its largest shareholder, hedge fund Alden Global Capital. The deal would pay shareholders $14.25 per share, valuing Tribune at $520.6 million. Alden already owns 32% of the publisher.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %TPCOTRONC INC13.85+1.05+8.25%Powered by

Elsewhere, Tesla Inc. and Walt Disney Co. hit record highs. Shares of the electric-vehicle maker have soared 730% this year through Wednesday while the entertainment giant has rallied 25%.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %TSLATESLA INC.715.93+21.15+3.04%DISWALT DISNEY COMPANY181.00-0.21-0.12%Powered by

Enphase Energy Inc. will be added to the S&P 500 beginning on Jan. 7, replacing Tiffany & Co. which is being bought by French luxury goods maker LVMH.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %TIFTIFFANY & CO131.45+0.10+0.08%ENPHENPHASE ENERGY INC175.64+2.71+1.57%Powered by

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 35 cents to $47.85 per barrel and gold advanced $9 to $1,902.40 an ounce.


European markets were lower across the board with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 1.45%, Germany’s DAX 30 weaker by 0.31% and France’s CAC 40 down 0.86%.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite index surged 1.72%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.31% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.45%.

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