Stocks Fluctuate Near Record Highs, Equities On Track for Weekly Gain

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Stocks fluctuated Friday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs in the previous session and ahead of a three-day weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 33 points, or 0.11%, to 31,397, the S&P 500 was up 0.1% and the Nasdaq rose 0.11%.

Equities were on track to post weekly gains.

Walt Disney  (DIS) – Get Report fell 1.25% Friday even after the world’s largest entertainment company posted a surprise profit in the fiscal first quarter, led by its streaming service, Disney+.

Subscribers to Disney+ rose to 94.9 million in the period, topping analysts’ forecasts. 

“Disney+ has exceeded even our highest expectations,” CEO Bob Chapek told investors on a conference call. He noted that subscribers to the service were just 26.5 million a year earlier.

Stocks closed mixed Thursday after a report on U.S. jobless claims suggested the labor market remains a weak spot in the economy. 

But hopes for more stimulus and improved vaccine distribution has investors remaining cautiously optimistic the U.S. economy will recover sometime in 2021.

President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have continued their push for a potential $1.9 trillion relief package.

Legislation that would include direct payments of $1,400 to Americans – a key part of Biden’s stimulus plan – and tax credits was advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee.

On the virus front, Biden said the United States has secured 100 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses each from Pfizer  (PFE) – Get Report and Moderna  (MRNA) – Get Report, and the country will have enough vaccines by the end of July to cover every American adult.

The 200 million doses add to the 400 million doses that the Trump administration already had ordered from the two drugmakers.

“We remain in the teeth of this pandemic,” Biden said Thursday during a tour of the National Institutes of Health.

Deaths in the U.S. from the virus have risen past 476,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.