S&P opens flat, stalling after surge

Stock markets opened relatively flat Thursday, stalling after setting new records earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 90 points, or 0.3 percent, and the S&P 500 opened up 6 points, or 0.2 percent.

The tepid market opening comes despite a drop in initial jobless claims to 712,000, well below the expected 775,000 figure.


Stocks have been on an upward trajectory since President-elect Biden’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 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.