NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks managed modest gains on Thursday as lawmakers again went to work on a twin trillion-dollar stimulus package.
Traders however remained cautious.
"Fear of missing out has turned into to fear of losing actual money," Dennis Dick, a trader at Bright Trading LLC told Reuters Thursday. "This is a shakeout of all the Robinhood traders, a shakeout of retail investors. They're getting punished, and rightfully so, because you can't just buy stocks out of a hat thinking stocks only go up."
At the close of trading Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 52.31 points, or 0.20%, at 26,815.44.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 9.67 points, or 0.30%, to 3,246.59.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 39.28 points, or 0.37%, to 10,672.27.
The U.S. dollar was strong but off its highs of the day. The euro settled around 1.1670 at the New York close Thursday.
The British pound came up from sub-1.2700 levels to trade at 1.2749. The Japanese yen softened to 105.42. The Swiss franc was unwanted at 0.9266.
The Canadian dollar rose half-a-cent to 1.3354. The Australian dollar was a fraction stronger at 0.7049, while the New Zealand dollar was little changed at 0.6548.
In Europe, the German Dax declined 0.29%. The Paris-based CAC 40 lost 0.83%.
In London, the FTSE 100 was off 1.30%.
On Asian markets, in Tokyo, Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 258.67 points or 1.11% to 23,087.82.
The Australian All Ordinaries was off 54.80 points or 0.90% at 6,056.50.
in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was hard hit. The key index closed down 431.44 points or 1.82% to 23,311.07 Thursday.
China's Shanghai Composite declined 56.63 points or 1.72% to 3,223.18.