US stocks started Wednesday mostly lower after a weak retail sales report that underscored the need for another round of federal Covid relief.
Here's where things opened:
- The Dow fell 50 points, or 0.2%.
- The S&P 500 lost 0.1%.
- The Nasdaq dropped 0.1%.
The weaker open comes after a government report showed that US retail sales tumbled in November by more than economists had feared.
The bleak holiday shopping report adds to evidence that the recovery is losing momentum as the pandemic intensifies. After months of failure, Congressional leaders appear to finally be closing in on an agreement for a Covid-19 relief package.
The Federal Reserve is scheduled to issue a new policy statement and updated economic projections at 2 pm. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has forcefully called for lawmakers to provide more fiscal stimulus.