Dow ends lower but finishes off Friday’s worst levels as lawmakers stumble toward coronavirus aid deal; Tesla officially in S&P 500

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U.S. stock indexes on Friday pared declines into the close but finished lower in the last full week of trade in December as investors monitored last-minute negotiations toward cementing a coronavirus aid package amid worsening infections and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 pandemic. The day’s trading action also was colored by a monstrous rebalancing of the S&P 500 and a quadruple-witching Friday that comes as Tesla was official gaining inclusion into one of the most exclusive clubs on Wall Street: The S&P 500. So-called quad witching Friday is when stock-index options and futures expire simultaneously, a period that can be marked by outsize volatility in equity markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished day off 0.4% at around 30,189, the S&P 500 index closed 0.3% lower at 3,709, while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session off less than 0.1% lower at 12,756. For the week, all three benchmarks finished higher, with the Dow marking a weekly gain of 0.5%, the S&P 500 booking a weekly rise of 1.3% and the Nasdaq Composite clinching a 3.1% gain over the five-day session. Congressional leaders shifted their sights Friday afternoon to keeping the government open past midnight tonight, as their attempts to find a deal both sides could agree on looked to be stymied. CNBC reported later Friday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was pushing toward passing a funding bill that would keep the government open for another 48 hours as lawmakers attempt to hammer out an agreement to help out-of-work Americans and troubled businesses. Shares of Tesla finished the session gained 0.4%. Meanwhile, shares of Intel Corp. closed off over 6% after Bloomberg reported that Microsoft Corp. is designing its own microchips for its devices.
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