Stock market closes modestly higher in holiday-abbreviated Christmas Eve trade

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U.S. stock gauges finished modestly higher Thursday in the final trading day of the Christmas week, as activity remained subdued due to the holiday Friday. On Thursday morning, Republicans in the House defied President Donald Trump and blocked a bill put forward by Democrats that would have sent $2,000 checks to individuals rather than $600 as the president was advocating for, as part of the coronavirus financial aid package. The status of the coronavirus aid bill passed by Congress on Monday now is unclear. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.2% higher at about 30,20, the S&P 500 index finished up 0.4% at about 3,703 and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.3% higher at about 12,805. In company news, shares of Alibaba Group ended down more than 13% amid reports that Chinese regulators on Thursday were pursuing an antimonopoly investigation. For the week, the Dow eked out a slight gain of less than 0.1%, the S&P 500 finished 0.2% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite posted a 0.4% weekly advance.
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