US Stock Market Overview – Stock Close Mixed; JP Morgan Forecasts Contraction in Q1


US stocks were lower on Friday. Traders took profits on the value stocks and bought the dips in the growth stocks which weighed on the Dow and S&P. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed, led lower by Financials and Industrials. Communications were the best performing sector in the S&P 500 index. The CDC warned consumers not to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday. The US reported 187,833 new cases of COVID-19, exceeding its last daily record by more than 10,000, and hospitalizations topped 80,000 for the first time. Pfizer requested FDA approval on Friday. JP Morgan now forecasts that the US economy will contract in the Q1.

JP Morgan Sees Economic Contraction

JPMorgan economists appear to be the first of the major banks to forecast that the Q1 will contract due to the spreading coronavirus. Most of the Wall Street Banks still forecast that the US economy will expand in the Q1. JP Morgan project that the Q1 will contract by 1% after growth of 2.8% in the Q4. For Q2, they see the economy rallying and growth of 4.5% followed by a robust 6.5% in Q3.

Pfizer Requests FDA Approval

Pfizer Inc. reported that the company has asked US health regulators on Friday to permit the use of their Covid-19 vaccine. Once the companies file, it would be up to the FDA to decide whether the two-shot vaccine works safely enough to roll out to millions of people. Given the urgency, the FDA is expected to move quickly. The timing of the filing is in line with industry and government officials’ projections for authorization and distribution to begin next month.

Five federal agencies have started telling employees they could receive Pfizer or Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine in less than eight weeks as the US prepares to distribute the vaccine across the country. Essential federal workers would be among the first group of Americans to get inoculated against the coronavirus after the nation’s health-care workers.