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US stocks trade mixed as investors assess COVID-19 surge in Europe

Europe is a key part of global economic recovery and multiple countries in lockdown will be a "major headwind" for US equities, Ed Moya of Oanda said. ...
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Traders have been cheered by earnings but are still concerned about inflation.

US stocks ended the last trading day of the week mixed as investors assessed the COVID-19 surge in Europe and its impact on the global economic recovery.

The S&P 500 finished flat after the benchmark index closed at an all-time high in the previous session as corporate earnings continued to impress investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower while the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 hit an all-time high, outperforming both indexes. 

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Friday:

COVID-19 cases are surging in Europe, prompting Austria to announce Friday it will go into full lockdown by next week and introduce mandatory vaccinations. Meanwhile, some parts of Germany closed non-essential businesses. The Netherlands, for its part, has ordered restaurants, shops, and bars to close early. 

"Europe is a key part of the global economic recovery and that will remain a major headwind for US equities if more countries go into lockdown mode," Edward Moya, senior equity analyst at Oanda, said in a Friday note.

US stocks have climbed steadily as corporate earnings surpass Wall Street's expectations despite supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. Bond yields staying low have also made stocks more attractive to investors. 

On Friday, the yield on 10-year Treasury fell to 1.545% compared to Thursday's 1.586%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Also affecting the Treasury curve were the comments of two Federal Reserve officials, Governor Christopher Waller and Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, suggesting the possibility that the central bank may need to taper asset purchases faster. 

On investors' radar is President Joe Biden's forthcoming announcement of who will lead the Federal Reserve. Biden said he will announce a decision before the Thanksgiving holiday. Incumbent Chair Jerome Powell and Fed Governor Lael Brainard are seen as the two frontrunners.

Macy's is launching its first-ever NFT series featuring its iconic Thanksgiving Day parade balloons.

The NFT market has seen explosive growth this year as sales of digital collectibles hover at a monthly rate of about $2 billion, according to JPMorgan, a big increase from monthly sales volume of about $400 million at the start of the year. The market cap of the NFT universe has grown to about $7 billion, according to the bank. 

Oil prices fell as the coronavirus surge in Europe raised concerns about economic recovery and as traders weighed the chances of countries releasing strategic reserves.

West Texas Intermediate crude slipped by 3.67% at $76.11 per barrel. Brent, oil's international benchmark, shed 3.35% at $78.52.

Gold fell 0.67% to $1,847.08 per ounce.

 

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