Stocks opened lower Friday after the U.S. Treasury moved to end some coronavirus pandemic lending programs given to the Federal Reserve that the central bank considered "essential."

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 130 points or 0.4%, led lower by Boeing and American Express.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29336.09-147.14-0.50%BABOEING COMPANY201.10-4.61-2.24%AXPAMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY112.35-1.71-1.50%TD Ameritrade Stock Table

The S&P 500 was off 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite ticked higher by a similar amount.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %SP500S&P 5003572.42-9.45-0.26%I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11918.254981+13.54+0.11%TD Ameritrade Stock Table

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.

STOCKS SHRUG OFF LOSSES, TECH AND ENERGY LED TURNAROUND

COVID ACCELERATING

Cases of COVID-19 have accelerated in recent days, with the country reporting 187,833 new cases on Thursday, the highest-ever 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.

HELP IS ON THE WAY

Despite the rising caseload in the country and around the world, "hope and help are on the way," according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %PFEPFIZER INC.36.78+0.57+1.57%BNTXBIONTECH SE103.76+8.83+9.30%MRNAMODERNA INC.97.86+5.09+5.49%TD Ameritrade Stock Table

Drugmaker Pfizer said it's filing for emergency use approval for its COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

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 94.5% efficacy rates, respectively.

Pfizer is partnering with German drug company BioNTech on its drug, known as BNT162b2. Shares of BioNTech surged 9% Friday, while Pfizer and Moderna were up 1.8% and 5%, respectively.

Gilead Sciences shares fell nearly 1% 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.

TRUMP ATTENDS ASIAN SUMMIT

President Trump will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, hosted virtually by Malaysia, where he is expected to face off with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

It will be the first time the two have spoken since Joe Biden was named president-elect after winning the requisite 270 electoral votes in this month's U.S. presidential election. Xi recently congratulated Biden on his win.

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West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 30 cents to $42.20 per barrel. In other commodities, gold rose slightly to $1,872.90 an ounce.

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Source Link:
https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/us-stocks-nov-20-2020

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