October 28, 2020

Bill Hastie |

The U.S. equity markets, namely the Dow and S&P 500, continued their slide yesterday following Monday’s rout.  On the day, the Dow and S&P 500 dropped 222.19 and 10.29 points, or -0.80 and -0.30%, respectively.  The S&P 500 is down more than 5% since its record closing level reached in early September.  The tech-heavy NASDAQ posted a solid gain of 72.41 points, or +0.64%, after its hard decline on Monday.

Markets are sliding this week on continued uncertainties about the coronavirus and the potential for more restrictive lockdowns.  Any new lockdowns would certainly deal a setback to an already fragile economic recovery.

“A month ago, the narrative in the market was very much that lockdowns would be limited and targeted, and so would have a smaller impact on the economy,” said Hugh Gimber, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.  “But now, what we are seeing is broader concerns that lockdowns might be wider and have a much broader impact.”

Investors continue to watch the upcoming U.S. election, and whether delays in counting mail-in ballots may lead to uncertainty in the days following the November 3 election.  Also, hopes have faded that talks between the White House and the House Democrats would produce an agreement for a COVID relief package before the election.