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S&P opens flat, stalling after surge

S&P opens flat, stalling after surge
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Stock markets closed relatively flat Thursday, stalling after setting new records earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 86 points, or 0.3 percent, and the S&P 500 closed down 2 points, or 0.1 percent.

The tepid market performance comes despite a drop in initial jobless claims to 712,000, well below the expected 775,000 figure. News the Pfizer was reducing the number of vaccines it planned to role out in 2020 due to supply chain troubles also set back the market.

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Stocks have been on an upward trajectory since President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE’s election win last month, as Washington appeared headed for divided government and COVID-19 vaccine candidates advanced toward emergency use authorizations.

But they have at times been tempered by increasing daily COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations and deaths. The surge is threatening the recovery, potentially driving the economy toward a double-dip recession.

All eyes are on Washington, where minor hopes have emerged for a COVID-19 relief deal before year’s end.

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday made a significant concession in their position, saying a $900 billion compromise bill should be the basis for talks. Their previous ask was over $2 trillion.

Updated at 4:03 p.m.