Stocks Edge Higher in Shortened Pre-Christmas Session

U.S. stocks rose slightly on Thursday as Wall Street tried to wrap up the holiday-shortened week on a high note.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 52.28 points at 30,182.11

The S&P 500 advanced 10.35 points to 3,700.36.

The NASDAQ added 53.86 points to 12,824.87. Technology was the best-performing sector, rising 0.7%, while energy and financials lagged.

The NASDAQ is on track to end the week higher, after hitting an intraday high in the previous session.

With just five trading days left in the year, the NASDAQ is on pace to be the clear winner, currently up around 42%, while the Dow is 5.6% above its level at the beginning of the year, and S&P 500 is up 14.2%.

The market will close early at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, and will be closed on Friday in observance of Christmas. Trading is expected to be thin on Christmas Eve.

Shares of Alibaba dropped 10% following news the China-based e-commerce giant is the target of a new anti-trust investigation by the Chinese government.

House Republicans on Thursday blocked Democrats’ attempt to pass $2,000 direct payments as the fate of a coronavirus relief package passed by Congress hangs in the balance. The move came after President Donald Trump slammed the $900 billion bill, calling it an unsuitable “disgrace” because it sends $600 rather than $2,000 checks.

Investors also closely monitored progress on the vaccine rollout. The Centers for Disease Control said just over one million shots had been administered as of Wednesday, roughly 19 million doses shy of earlier projections from public health officials for December.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Wednesday’s 0.94%.

Oil prices erased eight cents to $48.04 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices gained $3.60 to $1,876.50.