REFILE-US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow dip as spiking COVID-19 infections eclipse vaccine hopes

Reuters

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 (Corrects 3rd bullet to delete erroneous reference to CARES
act, also deletes reference to CARES act in paragraph 7)
    * Pfizer to seek emergency green light from FDA
    * Chip-makers, stay-at-home stocks outperform
    * Mnuchin to let Fed's lending program expire on Dec. 31
    * Dow down 0.45%, S&P off 0.19%, Nasdaq up 0.17%

    By Stephen Culp
    NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow edged
lower on Friday as investors headed into the weekend grappling
with disappointing fiscal stimulus news and uncertain efforts to
combat a spiraling COVID-19 pandemic with vaccines.
    Semiconductor stocks and other stay-at-home plays, which
have thrived throughout the health crisis, helped keep the
Nasdaq green. 
    Throughout the week, investors whipsawed between
economically-sensitive cyclical stocks and pandemic-resistant
market leaders.
    The S&P 500 and the Dow were on track to post marginal
losses for the week, while the tech-laden Nasdaq appeared set to
settle a bit higher than last Friday's close.
    "There's an ebb and flow to the market and the vaccine
represents the hope," said Matthew Keator, managing partner at
the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox,
Massachusetts. "The time it will take to see it distributed and
take effect reflects the reality of the situation.  With the
rising cases of the virus and the shutdowns at the state level
that's something the market is paying close attention to."
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced late
Thursday that he would allow key pandemic-relief lending
programs at the Federal Reserve to expire at the end of the
year, saying the $455 billion allocated last spring under the
CARES act should be returned to Congress to be reallocated as
grants for small companies.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2I52W1
    The decision to pull the plug on lending programs deemed
essential by the central bank comes at a time of spiraling new
coronavirus infects and a fresh wave of layoffs, and was called
"disappointing" by Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles
Evans.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2I611N
    Record infection numbers have caused COVID hospitalizations
to soar by 50% and have prompted a new round of school and
businesses closures, curfews and social distancing restrictions,
hobbling the economic recovery from the deepest recession since
the Great Depression.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2I52QD
    In the latest development in the race to develop a vaccine,
Pfizer Inc  PFE.N  said it would apply to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19
vaccine, the first application of its kind in the battle against
the disease.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2I62KF
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  fell 132.83 points,
or 0.45%, to 29,350.4, the S&P 500  .SPX  lost 6.66 points, or
0.19%, to 3,575.21 and the Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  added 20.16
points, or 0.17%, to 11,924.87.
    Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, industrials
 .SPLRCI  were down the most, while utilities  .SPLRCU  were
enjoying the largest percentage gains.
    The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index  .SOX  outperformed
the broader market for the second straight session, rising 0.6%
    Stay-at-home beneficiary Zoom Video Communications Inc
 ZM.O  was up 6.8%, providing the biggest lift to the Nasdaq,
while reopening play Boeing Co  BA.N  was the heaviest drag on
the blue-chip Dow.
    Gilead Sciences Inc  GILD.O  shed 0.8% as a World Health
Organization panel advised against the use of the company's
COVID-19 treatment remdesivir, citing lack of evidence the drug
improves survival or reduces the need for ventilation.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2I602Z
    Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.06-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 112 new highs and seven new lows.  

 (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh in Bengaluru
and  Stephen Culp in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and
Tom Brown)
 ((stephen.culp@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6076;))

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