January 25, 2021
 
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US Stocks End Mixed Monday             01/25 16:01

   Stocks swerved to a mixed finish on Wall Street Monday, ahead of a deluge of 
corporate earnings reports scheduled to arrive this week.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks swerved to a mixed finish on Wall Street Monday, 
ahead of a deluge of corporate earnings reports scheduled to arrive this week.

   The S&P 500 rose 13.89 points, or 0.4%, to 3,855.36 as gains for influential 
Big Tech stocks were big enough to steady the index and return it to a record. 
It recovered from a 1.2% loss earlier in the day, as investors expect Apple and 
other tech giants to report healthy profits for the end of 2020 in coming days.

   Other areas of the market were softer, though, and the majority of stocks on 
Wall Street fell amid concerns about the still-raging pandemic, delayed 
COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in some places and Washington's ability to deliver 
stimulus to blunt the resulting economic pain.

   The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 36.98, or 0.1%, to 30,960.00. The 
Nasdaq composite, which is packed with tech stocks, rose 92.93, or 0.7%, to 
13,635.99 and another record.

   The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks fell 5.49, or 0.3%, to 2,163.27. 
The yield on the 10-year Treasury sank to 1.03% from 1.07% late Friday.

   Besides Apple, more than 100 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to tell 
investors this week how they fared during the last three months of 2020. They 
include American Express, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, AT&T and Tesla.

   "We've had a sprint higher for about four weeks now and there's a lot coming 
this week," said Brad Peterson, national portfolio advisor at Northern Trust 
Wealth Management. "Today's action is probably just a pause."

   Through the earliest parts of this earnings reporting season, companies have 
largely been clearing the very low bar of expectations Wall Street had set for 
them. As a whole, analysts expect S&P 500 companies to say their fourth-quarter 
profit fell 5% from a year earlier. That's a milder drop than the 9.4% they 
were forecasting earlier this month, according to FactSet.

   Huggies and Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark was the latest big company to 
report better profit than analysts expected, and its stock rose 3.3% Monday.

   Markets have been mostly rallying recently on hopes that COVID-19 vaccines 
will lead to a powerful economic recovery later this year as daily life gets 
closer to normal. Hopes are also high that Washington will deliver another dose 
of stimulus for the economy now that the White House and both houses of 
Congress are under single control of the Democrats.

   President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion plan to send $1,400 to most 
Americans and deliver other support for the economy. But his party holds only 
the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, raising doubts about how much can 
be approved. Several Republicans have already voiced opposition to parts of the 
plan.

   The coronavirus pandemic is also worsening and doing more damage to the 
economy by the day. A UN agency said Monday that four times as many jobs were 
lost last year as in 2009, during the global financial crisis.

   GameStop, the video-game retailer that's struggling to return to 
profitability, went on another wild ride, trading in a giant range between 
$61.13 and $159.18 in heavy trading volume. The stock was halted nine times for 
volatility.

   Some high-profile investors have been saying its stock price was too high 
and placed bets to profit from an eventual drop by "shorting" it, or borrowing 
shares of GameStop and selling them. But as the shares keep rising, these 
investors are forced to get out of their bets by buying the stock, pushing the 
price up further. It finished Monday at $76.79, up 18.1%. It was close to $17 a 
few weeks ago.

   Financial stocks were the biggest drag on the market. Bank of America fell 
1.2%, and Morgan Stanley dropped 2.4%. Travel-related companies also slipped as 
the virus pandemic continues crimping business. Carnival fell 4.9% after 
telling investors it would delay operations for several ships until November.

   The Federal Reserve will begin a two-day meeting on interest-rate policy 
Tuesday, and the wide expectation is for it to keep the accelerator floored on 
its stimulus for the economy and markets. It has said it plans to keep interest 
rates low even if inflation rises above its 2% target.

   In European stock markets, Germany's DAX fell 1.7%, and France's CAC 40 
slipped 1.6%. The FTSE 100 in London dipped 0.8%.

   Asian stocks were stronger. South Korea's Kospi rose 2.2%, and Japan's 
Nikkei 225 rose 0.7%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 2.4%, and stocks in Shanghai 
gained 0.5%.

 
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