Reuters | |

Shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings soared for a fourth day running on Wednesday, forcing hedge funds to retreat from heavy losses and sparking calls for scrutiny of a social media-driven trading frenzy.

Short-seller Citron, a target for some of the individual traders who have helped drive huge gains for a number of niche Wall Street stocks in the past week, said in a video post it had abandoned its bet on GameStop shares falling.

With commentators and lawyers calling for scrutiny of the moves, Nasdaq chief Adena Friedman said exchanges and regulators needed to pay attention to the potential for “pump and dump” schemes driven by chatter on social media.

Kimberly Redmond | |

BlackRock, the world’s largest money management firm, reported a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter, closing out 2020 with double-digit increases in both earnings and revenue.

According to its fourth quarter earnings report released Thursday, the investment company posted a net profit of $1.5 billion, up from $1.3 billion, and revenue of $4.5 billion, an increase of 13%, during the final three months of 2020.

On a per share basis, fourth qu...

Reuters | |

Outsized bets on large U.S. technology companies and emerging cryptocurrencies fueled the year’s top-performing U.S. mutual fund and exchange-traded funds as the coronavirus pandemic upended global markets, while funds that bet on oil and gas companies fell nearly 100%, according to data from fund-tracker Morningstar.

The year was a challenge like few others for the $21.3 trillion mutual fund and $4.4 trillion ETF industry. U.S. stocks plunged in March before staging a more than 60% comeback, while bond yields hung near record lows for much of the year after unprecedented moves by the Federal Reserve to backstop the financial markets and keep interest rates low.

AP News | |

Stocks fell on Wall Street Monday, giving back some of their recent gains, as a new, potentially more infectious strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom raised worries that the global economy could be in for even more punishment.

The S&P 500 lost 0.4%, it’s second straight decline after climbing to an all-time high on Thursday. The benchmark index pared its loss as the day progressed, however, recovering from an earlier 2% drop. Treasury yields mostly fell, a sign that investors are worried about the economy. Crude oil prices fell on worries about disappearing demand.

AP News | |

Wall Street capped a solid week of gains on a down note Friday as the wait drags on to see if Congress can reach a deal to send more cash to struggling workers and businesses.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, a day after it and other major indexes returned to record heights. The decline snapped a three-day winning streak for the benchmark index, but it still notched a 1.3% weekly gain that more than made up its prior week’s loss.

Hope that Congress may be nearing a deal to offer more financial support for the economy has helped stocks set more record highs. The S&P clocked its 31st all-time high this year on Thursday. Enthusiasm about vaccines for COVID-19, which investors hope will get the economy back on the road to normalcy next year, has also fueled traders’ optimism.

AP News | |

Major U.S. stock indexes climbed to new highs Thursday as investors remained optimistic that Washington will deliver another round of financial support for the economy and as vaccines begin slowly rolling out to the public.

The S&P 500 rose 0.6%, with technology and health care stocks powering much of the market’s broad rally. The index, which is a key benchmark for many 401(k) accounts, has now set 31 record highs this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite also hit new highs. Treasury yields moved broadly higher, a sign of bonds traders’ confidence in the economy.

AP News | |

The S&P 500 ticked up to the edge of its record Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep buying bonds until the economy makes substantial progress from its virus-wracked state.

In a mixed and muted day of trading, the S&P 500 rose 6.55 points, or 0.2%, to 3,701.17. It’s within roughly 1 point of its record set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 44.77 points, or 0.1%, to 30,154.54, and the Nasdaq composite rose 63.13, or 0.5%, to 12,658.19, setting a record for the second straight day.

AP News | |

Stocks notched broad gains on Wall Street Tuesday as renewed optimism that Washington will deliver more aid to the struggling economy put investors in a buying mood.

The S&P 500 climbed 1.3%, snapping a four-day losing streak. Technology companies powered much of the rally, which helped push the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite to an all-time high. An index of small-company stocks also set a record high. Treasury yields rose.

Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on another round of coronavirus relief have been dragging on for weeks. Fresh signs of cooperation Tuesday appeared to boost the market’s confidence that Washington can get past its partisan divide and hammer out a deal. A bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled a detailed proposal. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held another round of talks.

AP News | |

Stocks closed mostly lower on Wall Street Monday after an early rally faded, extending the market’s recent pullback from record highs.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4% after having been up 0.9% in the early going. The reversal handed the benchmark index its fourth straight decline, something that hasn’t happened since September. Losses in the financial, industrial and health care sectors accounted for much of the decline, outweighing gains by technology stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending. Treasury yields were mostly higher, a sign of optimism in the economy.

AP News | |

U.S. stock indexes pulled further away from their recent highs Friday as prospects for another aid package from Washington faded while a surge in virus cases threatens to inflict more damage on an already battered economy.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.1%, its third-straight decline since it set a record high on Tuesday. The benchmark index ended the week 1% lower after two weeks of solid gains. Losses in financial, technology, health care and other sectors outweighed gains in communication services stocks, industrial companies and elsewhere. Treasury yields fell broadly, a signal that traders were seeking to lessen their exposure to riskier holdings.