Stocks slide off record highs as larger stimulus hopes fade

Boeing's 737 Max jet returned to the skies

U.S. equity markets slipped off record highs Tuesday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers will review President Trump's push for $2,000 stimulus checks, but stopped short of signaling the higher amount is a done deal.

This after the House of Representatives voted in favor of Trump’s proposal to increase direct payments from $600.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 31253.13 -236.94 -0.75%
SP500 S&P 500 3900.79 -22.89 -0.58%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11388.495467 -29.66 -0.26%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68 points, or 0.22%, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.22% and the Nasdaq Composite was lower by 0.38%.

All three of the major averages touched all-time highs early in the session after finishing Monday in record territory after President Trump signed off on $900 billion of COVID-19 relief and another $1.4 trillion to fund the government through 2021.

Further records were also being powered by an extension of the so-called "Santa Claus" rally, when stocks historically rise in the final days of the year.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 127.10 +1.56 +1.24%

Looking at stocks, Boeing Co.’s 737 Max aircraft returned to the skies Tuesday when an American Airlines flight from Miami International Airport departed for New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The jet was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes killed all 346 people aboard.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 137.35 -3.47 -2.46%

Elsewhere, Apple Inc. shares slipped off record highs. Recent gains had been fueled by reports of an Apple Car coming as soon as next year.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
INTC INTEL CORP. 42.01 -0.34 -0.80%

Intel outperformed after the hedge fund Third Point run by investor Dan Loeb confirmed taking a stake in the chip giant and urged the company to "explore strategic options." In a statement, Intel responded saying it "welcomes input from all investors regarding enhanced shareholder value. In that spirit, we look forward to engaging with Third Point LLC on their ideas towards that goal."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BABA ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD. 87.69 +0.38 +0.44%

Ant Financial, the world’s largest financial technology company which started as a payments service on Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform, is drafting plans to set up a financial holding firm. News that Ant was under regulatory scrutiny in China sent Alibaba shares down 13% on Thursday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LMND LEMONADE INC. 21.46 +1.66 +8.38%

The lockup on Lemonade Inc. shares expired Tuesday, meaning approximately 44 million shares owned by early investors were eligible to be sold. Shares were hit hard ahead of the lockup’s expiration, plunging 20% over the prior two trading sessions.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 38 cents to $48 per barrel and gold ticked up $2.50 to $1,879.70 per ounce.

Britain’s FTSE 100 traded up 2.66% in its first session since a Brexit deal was reached, while France’s CAC 40 was higher by 0.42%. Germany’s DAX 30 shed 0.21%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied 2.66% to its highest level since August 1990, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.96% and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.54%.