October 14, 2020

Bill Hastie |

Stocks ended a four-day winning streak yesterday with the three major indices posting losses for the day.  The Dow and S&P 500 dropped 157.71 and 22.29 points, or -0.55% and -0.63%, respectively.  The tech-heavy NASDAQ fought to stay in positive territory most of the day but ended down 12.36 points, or -0.10%.

On the year, the Dow is up 0.5%, and only 3.01% below its intraday all-time high of 29,568 reached on February 12.  The S&P 500 is up 8.7% so far in 2020, and 2.12% below its intraday all-time high of 3,588 reached on September 2.  The NASDAQ is up 32.22% on the year and only 1.74% off its high from September 2.

Stocks were under pressure yesterday with disappointing news on the development of a COVID vaccine and infections.  The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. hospitalizations are at the highest level since August 29, quoting data from the COVID Tracking Project.  Concerns rose after two drug trials from Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson were temporarily halted within a 24-hour period.

Investors are awaiting earnings reports from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo for signs of the health of the economy, coming a day after JPMorgan and Citigroup reported better-then-expected earnings.  Also being reported today is the PPI, or Producer Price Index, as an indicator of possible future inflation.