Yesterday stocks moved higher on news that President Donald Trump had actually signed the combined coronavirus stimulus/relief and government spending bill. I guess after contemplating the possibility of no bill and another government shutdown, even $600 checks seemed like a big deal.
Today, not so much. Worries that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will prevent the House-passed bill increasing the size of those checks to $2,000 from even coming up for a vote on the floor of the Senate were enough to trigger a mild retreat in stock prices.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.22% for the day and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by 0.22%. The NASDAQ Composite declined by 0.38% and even the biggest the stocks, which had moved significantly higher yesterday couldn’t manage more than a 0.04% gain today. The very economically sensitive small cap Russell 2000 was down a big 1.82%.
The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) was up a hefty 1.44% as China’s biggest tech companies rallied. Alibaba’s (BABA) troubles with China’s government may not be over, but traders decided the sell-off had been overdone. Alibaba gained 6.33% on the day. E-commerce competitors TenCent Holdings (TCEHY) and JD.com (JD) rose 3.60% and 5.55%, respectively.
But few other stocks could summon much strength Amazon (AMZN) gained 1.16%, but Apple (AAPL) was down 1.33% and Microsoft (MSFT) fell 0.36%.
Economically-sensitive stocks dropped on worries over the $2,000 stimulus checks and reports that the U.S. rollout of the coronavirus vaccine was extremely slow. MGM Resorts International (MGM) dropped 1.66% on the day. American Airlines (AAL) was down 1.255. Coca-Cola (KO) slipped 0.04% and Disney finished lower by 0.81%.