Cyclical sectors lag in mixed and lackluster session
The stock market is trading mixed with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) treading water in midday action. The S&P 500 (-0.3%), Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.6%), and Russell 2000 (-0.1%) trade slightly lower, but the Russell 2000 is well on pace to end the week in positive territory. From a sector standpoint, the S&P 500 utilities sector (+0.4%) is the only sector trading higher after underperforming noticeably all week, while the cyclical financials (-1.0%), industrials (-1.0%), and energy (-1.0%) sectors are each down 1.0% to trim their impressive monthly gains. Possible headwinds today include Treasury Secretary Mnuchin declining to extend five emergency lending programs funded by the CARES Act despite the Fed preferring to extend them beyond the Dec. 31 expiration date, and California instituting a curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus. To keep confidence in markets, Mr. Mnuchin clarified in a CNBC interview that there are still other available facilities and recommended that Congress re-appropriate the unused $455 billion for targeted fiscal measures right away.Tucked beneath today's negative bias in the S&P 500 is news that Pfizer (PFE 36.66, +0.46, +1.3%) and BioNTech (BNTX 101.51, +6.58, +6.9%) will submit their FDA application today to receive emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine by next month. PFE and BNTX shares are reacting positively to the news. Intuit (INTU 349.86, -11.59, -3.2%) and Workday (WDAY 213.67, -17.04, -7.4%) are notable technology companies struggling today despite reporting positive earnings results and upbeat guidance; Williams-Sonoma (WSM 108.24, +7.19, +7.1%) is up 7% after exceeding quarterly expectations. Investors did not receive any economic data today.