It was a choppy day of trading on Wall Street while all three major indexes traded mostly flat amid worries that COVID-19 will continue to disrupt businesses, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.

The Top Story

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes were trading slightly in the black, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average stayed barely negative throughout the afternoon. The S&P 500 closed the week higher as investors were buoyed by optimism for a coronavirus vaccine.

Netflix (see below) was a drag on the Nasdaq as the stock traded 7% lower after reporting weak earnings. The index ended the week lower as investors cycled out of booming tech companies and into other sectors.

We are in the midst of another interesting earnings season that has largely been written off because of the COVID-19 shutdown. Investors are now looking into next year to see how companies will recover.

“The question is what 2021 and 2022 look like, and what can folks glean from the commentary, especially when companies have withdrawn their guidance and made it difficult to get a sense of what their prospects look like,” said Tom Hainlin, National Investment Strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The Dow Jones fell 0.23%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were up 0.44%.

Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*

S&P 500: 3,224 (+0.28%)
DOW: 26,671 (-0.23%)
NASDAQ: 10,503 (+0.28%)
RUSSELL 2000: 1,473 (+0.39%)
25.68 (-8.29%)
GOLD: $1,812.30 (+0.66%)
BITCOIN: $9,175.21 (+0.73%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.62% (+0.011%)

*- as of 4:15 p.m.

A Big Win

In this morning’s Opening Bell, we told you to be on the lookout for JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. (Nasdaq: JBHT) after the company blew away Wall Street projections for both earnings and revenue last quarter. Shares of JB Hunt were up 3.2%.

We also suggested keeping an eye on Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). The company reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the quarter despite adding 10.1 million new users. Shares of Netflix fell 6.5%.

Finally, we told you about BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), which reported a 22% jump in earnings per share from the same quarter a year ago. BlackRock stock rose 3.7%.

Golden Nuggets

Gold jumped on Friday, poised for its sixth consecutive weekly gain, as a record rise in coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued to fuel uncertainty about an economic recovery.

Spot gold was trading up 0.8% to $1,810.70 an ounce.

The U.S. shattered its daily record for COVID-19 infections, prompting some states to impose partial lockdowns. The number of global cases reached 13.89 million.

Another factor pressing prices higher is the U.S. is considering a travel ban for all members of the Chinese Communist Party.

Elsewhere in the futures market:

  • Gold futures traded 0.66% higher to $1,812.20 an ounce.
  • Silver futures jumped 0.88% to $19.74.
  • Platinum was 1.72% higher to trade at $851.40 an ounce.
  • Palladium was up 1.57% to $2,056.80 an ounce.

Cannabis Corner

Authorities in California broke up an illicit meeting of marijuana buyers and sellers in Fresno this week.

According to Marijuana Business Daily, the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control and city police raided a so-called “smoke session,” which typically functions as “underground cannabis farmers markets.”

The state said at least seven different vendors were identified in the raid and authorities seized almost 40 pounds of marijuana flower and nearly 94 pounds of cannabis concentrates.

The value of the confiscated goods was more than $700,000, state officials said.

Treasury Secretary Says US Should Consider Forgiving ‘Small’ PPP Loans

In testimony before the House Small Business Committee on Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. should consider forgiving all “small” Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

As of Thursday night, the government has approved 4.9 million loans totaling $518.1 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Mnuchin didn’t specify what he meant by “small” loans. However, a coalition of 150 groups sent a letter to lawmakers earlier this month calling for all PPP loans less than $150,000 to automatically become grants.

Today’s Big Winners:

S&P 500: Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG) +7.7%

Nasdaq: Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG) +7.7%

Dow: Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) +2.1%

Today’s Big Losers:

S&P 500: Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) -6.5%

Nasdaq: Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) -6.5%

Dow: Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) -1.7%

Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.