Stocks were mostly lower Friday as investors turned their attention to rumblings of a new stimulus package in the United States but cast doubts on the bill’s passage.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 77 points, or 0.29%, to 26,737, the S&P 500 declined 0.22% and the Nasdaq rose 0.19%.
Stocks were on pace for their fourth week of declines.
Democrats in the House have begun drafting a stimulus proposal of about $2.4 trillion. The package is smaller than a previous $3.4 trillion plan the House passed in May, but remains above what Senate Republicans have said they would accept. President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t go higher than $1.5 trillion.
The bill could get passed by the House next week, according to Bloomberg.
“This stimulus deal needs to go through,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp. “With the risks building up everywhere you look, it doesn’t seem to be a great time to be trying to pick the bottom of equity markets, but a stimulus relief bill will go a long way to nudging the market along.”
Prospects for stimulus talks lifted stocks on Thursday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he planned to resume fiscal-stimulus talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which overshadowed disappointing U.S. jobless numbers and a resurgence of global coronavirus cases, which have surged to more than 32 million globally and to nearly 7 million in the U.S.
Mnuchin told a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday that a targeted pandemic relief package was “still needed.”
Costco Wholesale (COST) – Get Report fell 1.29% Friday after rising coronavirus expenses, including wage increases, took some of the shine off the warehouse retailer’s strong fourth-quarter earnings report that included record same-store sales growth.
Costco’s pandemic-related costs topped $280 million in the quarter, compared to a $100 million forecast, linked largely to a $2 per hour premium paid to employees, which the company said equates to around $14 million a week.
The Gaithersburg, Md., company also said it had begun the planning for a larger, 30,000-person U.S. study that would begin enrolling volunteers in mid-October.