Stocks ticked downward after the market opened Friday amid stalled stimulus negotiations and the rising chance of a brief government shutdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a loss of roughly 120 points Friday, falling 0.4 percent. The Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 each opened with losses of roughly 0.4 percent as well.
Lawmakers are racing to avoid a government shutdown that would begin if the Senate cannot pass a stopgap spending bill in time for President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden and Harris named Time’s 2020 ‘Person of the Year’ US to sanction Turkey over Russian defense system: report Federal government executes Brandon Bernard despite last-minute appeals MORE to sign it before midnight. Democrats and Republicans are also trying to hammer out longstanding differences that are holding up another coronavirus economic relief package.
The parties remain fiercely divided over how to extend or adjust expanded unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments and coronavirus-related workplace safety liability protections for businesses. Early momentum driven by a bipartisan, bicameral agreement has faded amid growing tensions between party leaders.
A failure to reach another coronavirus aid agreement could leave millions of Americans without crucial support heading into a daunting winter. Economists warn that record-breaking COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and death could push the U.S. back into a recession and force millions of Americans to suffer without food or shelter.