Brexit deal, stimulus hopes drive S&P higher

Stocks fought back from a deficit in the final hour of a shortened trading session Thursday to close modestly higher. Investors scooped up tech and real estate stocks as they headed into the long Christmas weekend hoping that an imminent stimulus agreement, a Brexit deal, and the vaccine rollout will ring in a brighter new year.

The S&P 500 climbed a third of a percent, while the Dow and Nasdaq tacked on a quarter percent. But Phoenix Financial Services chief market analyst Wayne Kaufman sensed caution in the trading action:

“In general, I’m seeing a little bit of reticence in the market, some hesitation here. I don’t see a lot of conviction on the part of buyers.”

American Airlines descended. The carrier said it is moving forward with its plans to bring back furloughed workers even after President Donald Trump threatened to veto a coronavirus relief bill that includes $15 billion for airlines to call back those workers and pay them through March.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies fell after Beijing launched an antitrust probe into tech giant Alibaba. It’s part of an accelerating crackdown on anticompetitive behavior in China’s booming internet sector. Financial regulators will also meet with Alibaba’s fintech arm, Ant Group. Alibaba shares plunged 13%. The news also sent down shares of search engine company Baidu and e-commerce firm JD.com.

Video Transcript

NARRATOR: Stocks fought back from a deficit in the final hour of a shortened trading session Thursday to close modestly higher. Investors scooped up tech and real estate stocks as they headed into the long Christmas weekend, hoping that an imminent stimulus agreement, a Brexit deal, and the vaccine rollout will ring in a brighter new year. The S&P 500 climbed a third of a percent while the Dow and NASDAQ tacked on a quarter percent.

But Phoenix Financial Services Chief Market Analyst Wayne Kaufman says, caution in the trading action.

WAYNE KAUFMAN: In general, I'm seeing a little bit of reticence in the markets, some hesitation here. I don't see a lot of conviction on the part of buyers.

NARRATOR: Shares of American Airlines descended. The carrier said it is moving forward with its plans to bring back furloughed workers, even after President Donald Trump threatened to veto a coronavirus relief bill that includes $15 billion for airlines to call back those workers and pay them through March. US listed shares of Chinese companies fell after Beijing launched an antitrust probe into tech giant Alibaba. It's part of an accelerating crackdown on anti-competitive behavior in China's booming internet sector. Financial regulators will also meet with Alibaba's fintech arm, Ant Group. Alibaba shares plunged 13%. The news also sent down shares of search engine company Baidu and e-commerce firm jd.com.