NEW YORK – Major stock indexes were wavering between small gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street as investors kept a close eye on impeachment proceedings in Washington and looked ahead to companies reporting results for the last three months of 2020. The S&P 500 was little changed after the first few minutes of trading Wednesday. Technology stocks rose, with chipmaker Intel leading the way with a 10% surge after announcing a CEO transition. European markets were also moving only modestly, and Asian markets closed mixed. Treasury yields were slightly lower and crude oil prices were rising.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
BEIJING – Global stocks mostly slipped Wednesday as investors monitored the slow rollout of vaccines globally and a possible new attempt to impeach President Donald Trump over last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol.
European indexes were London and Frankfurt down slightly. Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul closed higher while Shanghai and Hong Kong declined.
U.S. futures slipped, with those for the Dow down 0.3% and those for the S&P 500 dipping 0.4%.
While the procedure to impeach Trump is in the headlines, analysts suggested investors are more focused on the outlook for vaccinations, which have been proceeding at a slow pace, and President-elect Joe Biden's economic stimulus plans after he takes office next week.
Democrats in Congress are discussing possibly impeaching Trump for encouraging supporters who attacked the Capitol, but the president has taken few official actions since then.
“Hopes are pinned on the incoming Biden administration, leveraging Democrat Senate majority, to emphatically tackle COVID,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.
The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.2% at 6,739. The DAX in Frankfurt shed 0.3% to 13,885 while the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.1% to 5,647..
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,598.65 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 1% to 28,456.59. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.2% to 28,235.60.
The Kospi in Seoul added 0.7% to 3,148.29 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney was up 0.1% at 6,686.60.
India's Sensex lost 0.9% to 49,118.50.
Investor hopes have been boosted recently by the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, though the process has so far been slower than many expected. Markets have risen despite a spike in case numbers in the United States and some other countries.
In the United States, those hopes have been encouraged by the shift in control of the Senate from Republicans to Biden's Democratic Party. That might reduce the likelihood of political opposition if Biden introduces a more ambitious stimulus plan. He has said he will release details Thursday.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $53.42 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 96 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 12 cents to $56.70 per barrel in London. It gained 92 cents the previous session.
The dollar edged up to 103.85 yen from Tuesday's 103.83. The euro fell to $1.2174 from $1.2201.