US stocks are wobbling between small gains and losses while hovering around their recent record highs as coronavirus vaccines move closer to distribution and stimulus talks drag on in Washington.

A vaccine from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, which is already in use in the UK, is on track for a positive review and potential approval in the US within the next week. The Food and Drug Administration will also consider a vaccine developed by Moderna later this month. The prospect for a vaccine is giving Wall Street hope that the economy is nearing a more direct path to a full recovery.

Wall Street has slid lower on Wednesday.

Wall Street has slid lower on Wednesday. Credit:AP

The S&P 500 is 0.5 per cent lower in early afternoon trading on Wednesday, just shy of record levels. The index is already up 2.5 per cent this month following one of its best months in years during November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq composite has shed 1.1 per cent. It sets up the Australian sharemarket for losses this morning, with futures at 5.05am AEDT pointing to a fall of 36 points, or 0.5 per cent, at the open.

The broader S&P 500 was roughly split between gainers and losers. Companies that stand to benefit the most from a recovering economy were putting up gains. Walt Disney, which has seen attendance at its parks suffer amid the pandemic, rose 1 per cent. Citigroup rose 1 per cent as Treasury yields gained ground in a sign of optimism for the the economy.

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