NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks opened lower on Friday as the nation was grappling with soaring COVID-19 infections.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 56.79 points, or 0.19 percent, to 29,426.44. The S&P 500 decreased 5.72 points, or 0.16 percent, to 3,576.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 23.82 points, or 0.20 percent, to 11,880.89.
Of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors, technology dipped 0.3 percent in the morning session, leading the laggards. Utilities rose 0.5 percent, the best-performing group.
Investors weighed the economic impact of the surging new coronavirus cases.
The United States reported a record of 187,833 new cases on Thursday, pushing the national seven-day average of daily new infections to 165,029, about 24 percent higher than a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The country has reported more than 11.7 million cases in total with the death toll from the disease exceeding 252,000 as of Friday morning local time.
Wall Street also focused on a disagreement between the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve over the continuation of funding for some of the emergency programs established during the early days of the coronavirus crisis.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday asked the Federal Reserve to end five emergency COVID-19 lending facilities and return 455 billion U.S. dollars of unused funds. However, the Fed wanted to continue all these emergency facilities.