October 19, 2020

Bill Hastie |

The Dow and S&P 500 fell for three straight days last week before closing slightly higher on Friday.  The NASDAQ Composite posted its first four-day losing streak since September.  On the day, the Dow and S&P 500 gained 112.11 and 0.47 points, or +0.39% and +0.01%, respectively.  The NASDAQ fell 42.34 points, or -0.36%.

“The cross-currents we have been fretting over in recent weeks remain omnipresent,” said Sherif Hamid, a strategist at Jefferies.  “The U.S. elections are close at hand, fiscal stimulus remains a key near-term catalyst, and developments on the virus remain critical to the longer-term outlook.

Stocks are rallying this morning on hopes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin will soon reach a deal on an additional stimulus package.  The two sides have been stuck over funding to rebuild certain cities that were badly damaged in the riots last summer.  Also lifting the markets today is optimism over the development of a COVID vaccine as several drug makers are in late-stage trials.