Stocks end mixed; Airbnb soars in debut

Small moves on Wall Street Thursday as investors had to sort through disappointing economic data, possible progress on Washington stimulus talks, and more vaccine hopes.

The Dow fell 69 points. The S&P 500 shed 4. The Nasdaq rose 66.

New claims for unemployment benefits spiked near a three-month high in further evidence of an economic rebound that's slowing due to a resurgent health crisis. 853,000 Americans signed up for first-time jobless benefits last week, that was more than expected and much more than the week before. 19 million Americans were on some sort of unemployment assistance through late November. Unfortunately, millions of Americans will be out of luck when some federal jobless aid programs expire the day after Christmas, unless Congress renews the benefit as part of another stimulus package.

There appears to be some movement on those discussions. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin said talks between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate were making "a lot of progress." Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was encouraged by the progress but wanted to see the details.

Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, says this market is stuck until something happens in Washington.

"Right now, we're in the middle of a tug of war, that tug of war is something like this: it's the vaccine news versus the virus news, and both of them are increasing. And the tiebreaker in both of those things is stimulus. And when we get good news on stimulus, when it feels like we're getting that, that's enough to say, OK, vaccine news wins."

Another day...another blockbuster market debut. Shares of Airbnb more than doubled in their first day of trading in what was the biggest IPO of a U.S. company this year. The stock ended the day up 112 percent at $144 a share. Its IPO price was just $68.

Pfizer is on track to win FDA approval for the vaccine made with BioNtech in the coming days. It’s already been approved for use in the U.K. and Canada.

Energy stocks were among the leaders of the day after global crude prices topped $50 a barrel for the first time since March.

Video Transcript

- Small moves on Wall Street Thursday as investors had to sort through disappointing economic data, possible progress on Washington's stimulus talks, and more vaccine hopes. The Dow fell 69 points. The S&P 500 shed 4. The NASDAQ rose 66. New claims for unemployment benefits spiked near a three-month high, and further evidence of an economic rebound that's slowing due to a resurgent health crisis.

853,000 Americans signed up for first time jobless benefits last week. That was more than expected and much more than the week before. 19 million Americans were on some sort of unemployment assistance through late November. Unfortunately, millions of Americans will be out of luck when some federal jobless aid programs expire the day after Christmas, unless Congress renews the benefit as part of another stimulus package.

There appears to be some movement on those discussions. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate were making, quote, "a lot of progress." Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was encouraged by the progress, but wanted to see the details. Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, says this market is stuck until something happens in Washington.

ART HOGAN: Right now, we're in the middle of a tug of war. That tug of war is something like this. It's the vaccine news versus the virus news. And both of them are increasing. And the tiebreaker in both of those things is stimulus. And when we get good news on stimulus, when it feels like we're getting that, that's enough to say, OK, vaccine news win.

- Another day, another blockbuster market debut. Shares of Airbnb more than doubled in their first day of trading in what was the biggest IPO of a US company this year. The stock ended the day up 112% at $144 a share. Its IPO price was just $68.

Pfizer is on track to win FDA approval for the vaccine made with BioNTech in the coming days. It's already been approved for use in the UK and Canada. Energy stocks were among the leaders of the day after global crude prices topped $50 a barrel for the first time since March.