(Update after the market close)
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Wall Street closed lower on Friday as investors grappled with developments related to fiscal stimulus, concerns about a long time to roll out a vaccine and a growing number of statewide shutdowns to combat the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
* Actions related to firms benefiting from lockdowns such as Zoom Video Communications Inc and Netflix Inc, which have outperformed their peers during the health crisis, helped stem the Nasdaq’s slide.
* Throughout the week, the comings and goings of vaccine news and rising infections sent investors swinging between cyclical stocks, economically sensitive, and market leaders, resistant to the pandemic.
* The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones posted marginal losses for the week. The Nasdaq, with great technological weight, closed with a slight weekly rise.
* “Markets are still caught in a tug of war between the dramatic increase in new COVID cases and the apparent progress in vaccines,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York. “This is likely to continue until we have a vaccine approved and distributed.”
* US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that he would allow the Federal Reserve’s key pandemic relief loan programs to expire at the end of the year. He claimed that the $ 455 billion allocated under the CARES Act should be returned to Congress for reallocation as subsidies to small firms.
* The decision to end the program, considered essential by the Fed, comes at a time of a spiral of new coronavirus infections and a new wave of layoffs, and the chairman of the Chicago Federal Reserve, Charles Evans, called it as “disappointing”.
* In the latest event in the race to develop a vaccine, Pfizer Inc. applied to the US regulator for authorization for the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, the first order of its kind in the battle against the disease. The drugmaker’s shares rose 1.4% and provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219.75 points, or 0.75%, to 29,623.48 points, while the S&P 500 fell 24.33 points, or 0.68%, to 3,557.54 points. The Nasdaq Composite lost 49.74 points, or 0.42%, to 11,854.97 points. (Reporting by Stephen Culp, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)