US stocks are lower on the last full trading of the year as profit-taking and quadruple witching trigger volatility. Adding to the selling pressure was Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmation that the US will blacklist Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp and dozens of other Chinese firms.
Risk appetite over the past few days has been fueled on optimism Congress would finally deliver a coronavirus relief bill. Some investors that bought the rumor and don’t have the patience to wait for the actual bill to get finalized, are closing out of positions. Labor market weakness makes this COVID relief bill appear very certain despite a new red line that looks to restrict the Fed’s ability to revive expiring lending programs.
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