October 23, 2020

Bill Hastie |

A choppy day on Wall Street yesterday ended with all three major indices posting gains for the day.  The Dow and S&P 500 gained 152.84 and 17.93 points, or +0.54% and +0.52%, respectively.  The NASDAQ gained 21.31 points, or +0.19%, after recovering from fairly large early losses.

The day, on the surface, looked like a rather normal day, but below the surface some sectors had much stronger performance than others.  Two sectors that had been out of favor in 2020, energy and banks, both posted gains of 4.1% on the day.  On the other end of the spectrum, the ever-volatile technology sector lost 0.4%.  Another area coming to life late in 2020 is the Russell 2000, and index of small capitalization stocks, gained 1.7% yesterday and 8.9% over the last month.  Compare that with the Dow and S&P 500 gaining 4% and 4.2%, respectively, over the same period.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are said to be making progress in their fiscal stimulus negotiations.  “If we were not making progress, I wouldn’t spend five more seconds in these conversations… This is not anything other than I think a serious attempt.  I do believe that both sides want to reach an agreement,” Pelosi said.  However, Pelosi tempered expectations of reaching a deal before the election, saying it could take “a while” for a bill to be written and signed.