October 16, 2020

Bill Hastie |

Yesterday was the third straight day of declines on Wall Street, while the markets focus on the size and timing of a fiscal stimulus package to come out of Washington.  Although all three major stock indices finished the day far above their mid-day lows, it was red across the board.  On the day, the Dow and S&P 500 lost 19.80 and 5.33 points, or -0.1% and -0.2%, respectively.  The NASDAQ had a little rougher day, down 54.86 points, or -0.5%.

It looks as though Senate Republicans are going to bring a fiscal stimulus bill to the floor next week for a vote.  Their bill, most likely the $1.8 trillion version that has been debated for weeks, is $400 billion shy of what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been demanding.  We see the market pulling for this bill to pass and then the two sides can continue to negotiate for the additional $400 billion.

Retail sales for September was released this morning, showing an increase of 1.9% compared to the consensus estimates of economists polled by Dow Jones of an increase of 0.7%.  The consumer’s willingness to spend in the midst of the COVID pandemic is a vital component to overall economic recovery.