U.S. Indices Closed With Lackluster Gains

U.S. stocks ended Wednesday in scattered order, with the Nasdaq in the final hour of trading taking profits. However, since Monday, the indexes have regained most of their losses from last week. Now the speculative wave seems to have passed, and investors are refocusing on fundamentals, namely corporate performance and Congress’ adoption of the Biden plan against the Covid-19. Record results from Amazon (-2%), Alphabet (up 7.2%) elicited divergent responses.

The Dow Jones index gained 0.12% to 30,723 points at the close, while the broad S&P 500 index advanced 0.1% to 3,830 points. The Nasdaq Composite, rich in technology and biotech stocks, ended in record territory with a very slight 0.02 percent at 13,610 points, receiving profits after a 0.8 percent gain in the session.

In the S&P 500, six of the 11 sector indexes rose, starting with energy (up 4.2%), communications services (up 2%), and financial services (up 0.5 percent). In decline, as a result of profit-taking were real estate (-0.37%) and technology (-0.3 percent) while healthcare lost 0.7%.

After ricocheting off Alphabet’s strong results, social networks Facebook (-0.16 percent), Twitter (up 1 percent), Snap (up 0.6 percent) see their price lowering at the close of trading. As a consequence, in the fourth quarter, Google benefited from a stronger-than-expected recovery in the online advertising market, which may also have benefited other companies dependent on this advertising revenue. Higher oil prices benefited oil stocks: Chevron jumped 2.18%, ExxonMobil added 3.9%, Devon Energy leaped 7.3%, Transocean 7.4%, and Schlumberger 7.4%.

Small carriers active on social networks’ favorite stocks remained surrounded, but without last week’s speculative frenzy that had stumbled across the entire market. GameStop, which had soared 400 percent last week, before dropping more than 70 percent on Monday and Tuesday, recovered 2.6 percent on Wednesday. After a 40 percent fall in two sessions and a rise of 277 percent last week, AMC Entertainment picked up 14.7 percent and soared 28 percent, after a -70 percent loss in 2 sessions and gaining 1.816 percent last week.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took up the matter and asked for a meeting with financial regulators to discuss the recent “market volatility.” The meeting between Ms. Yellen and representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Reserve, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) could take place as early as Wednesday.

His request comes as Democratic and Republican lawmakers, following the slingshot of stockbrokers against large hedge funds that rocked Wall Street last week, have called for measures to combat market manipulation.

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