Week of November 23, 2020

Bill Hastie |

A choppy week on Wall Street last week ended with the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all posting losses on Friday.  The Dow fell 219.75 points, or -0.07%, while the S&P 500 dropped 24.33 points, or -0.08%.  The tech-heavy NASDAQ lost 49.74 points, or -0.04%.  A rally in the stock market at the start of the week has stagnated recently, after investor optimism about the development of effective coronavirus vaccines propelled the Dow to its first record close since February.  On the week, the Dow and S&P 500 dropped -.07% and -0.08%, respectively, while the NASDAQ posted a gain of +0.02%.

Last Friday’s jump in new coronavirus cases brings the seven-day average to over 167,000, an increase of nearly 20% compared to a week ago, according to a CNBC analyst of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.  The seven-day average of new cases has increased at least 5% week-over-week in 43 states and Washington DC, Hopkins data shows.

“Stocks this week will trade on lockdown concerns and rising cases, but could see a boost into early December as the optimism around a near term, stopgap stimulus package grows,” said Shannon Saccocia, Chief Investment Officer at Boston Private.  “Overall, the push and pull between tech stocks and cyclicals will likely continue through the next couple of weeks, and we could see some tough days as economic data is released that reflects the deterioration in consumer spending we are currently experiencing.”