The Week on Wall Street
Stock prices dropped last week as hopes for a fiscal stimulus bill faded and investors focused on rising COVID-19 infections, here and abroad.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 6.47%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 tumbled 5.64%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 5.51% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 5.02%.[i],[ii],[iii]
A Difficult Week for Stocks
Stocks opened the week lower as lawmakers failed to pass a fiscal stimulus bill and a pick up in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Hardest hit were companies most exposed to pandemic-related economic impacts, including energy, travel and leisure, and industrials.
Losses accelerated mid-week on reports of rising coronavirus-related hospitalizations, along with news that Germany and France were reinstating partial shutdown restrictions.[iv]
Stocks attempted to recover on Thursday, but took another leg lower on Friday as earnings reports from the mega-cap technology companies failed to impress investors.
Positive Economic News
There were several strong economic reports during the week, but investors paid little attention. Among the highlights were durable goods orders, which rose for the fifth consecutive month, a sharp drop in initial jobless claims that were the lowest since March 14th, and a 33.1% annualized jump in economic growth during the third quarter.[v],[vi],[vii]
Investors also ignored a strong start to earnings season, which has seen 85% of reporting companies in the S&P 500 index beating earnings estimates by an average margin of 19%.[viii]
THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Monday: ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Manufacturing Index.
Wednesday: ADP (Automated Data Processing) Employment Report. ISM (Institute for Supply Management) Services Index.
Thursday: Jobless Claims. FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) Meeting Announcement.
Friday: Employment Situation.
Source: Econoday, October 30, 2020
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.
[i] The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020
[ii] The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020
[iii] The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2020
[iv] CNBC, October 27, 2020
[v] The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2020
[vi] CNBC, October 29, 2020
[vii] The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2020
[viii] CNBC, October 29, 2020