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20 Nov 2020 | 15:33

US open: Dow Jones erases yesterday's gains at the bell

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks were mostly lower at the opening bell on Friday as a continued rise in new Covid-19 cases across the country and doubt around ongoing funding from the Federal Reserve for emergency programmes weighed on sentiment. As of 1530 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.43% at 127.82 and the S&P 500 was 0.29% weaker at 3,571.58, while the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.04% firmer at 11,909.37.

The Dow Jones opened 127.82 points lower on Friday, erasing gains recorded in the previous session after tech stocks staged a late rally.

In focus on Friday, the seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 infections hit 165,029 in the US, according to John Hopkins University, 24% higher week-on-week, leading many states to roll back reopening plans and implement fresh restrictions.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a "limited Stay at Home Order" for the majority of the State, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against travelling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Investors were also keyed in on news around Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was said to be looking to halt multiple Fed facilities that bought corporate bonds and a Main Street Lending Program aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses - a move has caught the ire of the central bank, which stated the programs continued to serve an integral role in supporting a vulnerable US economy.

Also in focus, senator Chuck Schumer also said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had agreed to restart negotiations on a new Covid-19 relief bill.

In the corporate space, Pfizer and BioNTech will apply for an emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration for their Covid-19 vaccine. If Pfizer's application is approved by the FDA, the vaccine will likely be limited and rolled out in several phases, with healthcare workers, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions likely to be first in line for vaccinations.

Elsewhere, the FDA granted Emergency Use Approval for baricitinib, a treatment for Covid-19 developed jointly by Eli Lilly and Incyte, in combination with Gilead Sciences' remdesivir.

However, the World Health Organisation advised doctors against treating Covid-19 patients with Gilead's remdesivir drug, stating that it had "no meaningful effect" on survival or need for ventilation.

On to earnings, footwear retailer Foot Locker's third-quarter profit of $265.0m beat expectations on the Street, while fashion retailer Buckle posted a 12% jump in third-quarter revenues.

No major data points were scheduled for release on Friday.
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