Stocks edge higher ahead of Christmas

Financial stocks a ‘safe’ recovery play: Expert

Nicholas Wealth Management President David Nicholas and Spotlight Asset Group CIO Shana Sissel on financials, bitcoin, Tesla stock, the coronavirus vaccine, U.S. recovery and today’s markets.

U.S. stock indexes inched higher Thursday morning in a holiday-shortened session.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 62 points, or 0.2%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.21% and 0.22%, respectively. All three of the major averages finished within 1% of record highs on Wednesday.

Stock markets will close at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday in observance of Christmas Eve and will remain closed Friday for Christmas.

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Looking at stocks, Moderna Inc. expects its COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the new, fast-spreading coronavirus strain that was detected in the U.K.

American Airlines Group is moving ahead with the recall of more than 8,000 flight attendants despite President Trump’s hesitancy to sign the relief bill, which he said contained “wasteful and unnecessary spending.”

Elsewhere, Alibaba Group was under pressure after a Chinese regulator announced an anti-monopoly investigation into the e-commerce giant. Other Chinese e-commerce companies, including JD.com were also trading lower.

In deals, a group of institutional investors led by Apollo Group agreed to buy a 49.9% stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s U.S.-based can plants for $3 billion. AB InBev, which is using the proceeds to pay down debt and create shareholder wealth, has the right to buy the stake back five years after the deal closes.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 32 cents to $47.80 per barrel, and gold slid $4.20 to $1,873.90 per ounce.

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In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was trading up 0.1% as the U.K. and E.U. neared a deal on Brexit and France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.1%. Germany's DAX 30 was closed.

Asian markets ended mixed with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edging up 0.16% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 advancing 0.54% while China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.57%.

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