U.S. stocks finished mixed on Friday as President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending bill passed in the House of Representatives, while renewed concern about a fourth wave of coronavirus infections in Europe rattled investors.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended off 268.97, or 0.75%, at 35,601.98.
The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4% to end at 16,057.44, a closing record.
The S&P 500 fell 6.58, or 0.14%, to 4,697.96.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields edged lower, to 1.536%.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at records on Thursday.
Biden’s spending measure was approved on a 220-213 vote. All Republican House members voted no, The Wall Street Journal reported. The bill now moves to the Senate, where the members are divided 50-50 and the Democrats control because Vice President Kamala Harris breaks tie votes.
Alongside that fiscal doubt, investors were also looking at headlines from Europe, where Austria imposed a national lockdown, effective Monday, after recording more than 14,000 new Covid infections yesterday.
Austria will also make vaccination for all its citizens mandatory, becoming the first country in the world to issue such an edict.
That move followed a dire warning from outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the Covid situation “dramatic” as infections surge and fatalities rise.
The lockdown, as well as fresh restrictions on movement and businesses in Germany, pushed the euro to a mid-July low of 1.1289 against the U.S. dollar and clipped bets on near-term energy demand in the world’s biggest economic bloc.
Brent crude, the global pricing benchmark, traded down 3% at $78.81 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate was marked 3.8% lower at $76 per barrel. The Wall Street Journal cited concern about energy demand dropping because of renewed coronavirus lockdowns.
Among individual stocks, Foot Locker (FL) – Get Foot Locker, Inc. Report shares slumped 13% after the sports apparel retailer posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings but cautioned that supply chain disruptions would linger throughout the holiday period.
Pfize (PFE) – Get Pfizer Inc. Report shares ended lower, while Moderna (MRNA) – Get Moderna, Inc. Report surged, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of their Covid booster shots in all American adults.
The booster dose, the FDA said, can come six months after the completion of the two-shot series of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines following a review of emergency-use authorization approvals for both drugmakers.
Nike (NKE) – Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report shares bumped 2% higher after the world’s biggest sports apparel group boosted its quarterly dividend by 11%, extending its run of increased payouts to 20 consecutive years.
Applied Materials (AMAT) – Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report shares fell 5.5% after the tech group focused on chipmaking machines posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and cautioned that supply chain snarls would hit near-term profits.
Palo Alto Networks (PANW) – Get Palo Alto Networks, Inc. Report shares rose 2% after the cloud security firm posted stronger-than-expected fiscal-first-quarter earnings and boosted its near-term profit outlook.
Palo Alto said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in October were pegged at $1.64 a share, with revenue rising 32% to $1.2 billion. The company sees the revenue figure rising to $1.29 billion this quarter. Demand for its next-generation firewall continues to grow as companies move faster towards cloud computing adoption.
In other markets, bitcoin prices rebounded after touching one-month lows as investors backed away from the world’s biggest cryptocurrency following a court ruling on the collapse of an online exchange in Japan.