U.S. Stocks Waver as Investors Eye Stimulus Talks
By Jem Bartholomew and Ben Eisen
U.S. stocks wavered between small gains and losses Thursday as
investors tracked negotiations in Washington over a fresh stimulus
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were both up
roughly 0.3% in afternoon trading. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite
was little changed.
Investors have been laser-focused on the prospect of a new wave
of U.S. fiscal stimulus, even as the prospects of a deal between
House Democrats and Senate Republicans before the Nov. 3
presidential election remains unlikely.
"It's dominating the headlines, and markets are certainly still
paying attention," said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at
Investors and analysts see a new injection of stimulus as key to
reviving the U.S. economy, which is beginning to recover from its
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell
to 787,000 last week, according to data from the Labor Department,
suggesting the number of layoffs are trending lower. And sales of
previously owned homes in the U.S. rose to a new 14-year high in
September, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.
Still, with the effects of the last round of stimulus fading,
some investors are preparing for the economy to plateau.
"As much as the data was good, I think we may see a little bit
of a short-term sag in economic momentum in the fourth quarter,"
said Dave Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private
Investors largely agree that more stimulus is coming at some
point soon. "It would seem likely whoever wins that there'll be
some form of fiscal stimulus in the next few months," said Tristan
Hanson, multiasset fund manager at M&G Investments. "That seems
to be the mood music."
Beaten-down airline and hotel chain stocks climbed Thursday.
Delta Air Lines rose 4.8%, and Southwest Airlines added 3.8%.
Airline executives said they are seeing tentative signs that
consumers are traveling again, though the companies posted big
losses in the third quarter.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings jumped 5.1%, and MGM Resorts
International rose 4.8%.
Corporate earnings also lifted shares of individual companies.
Tesla rose 2.3% after the electric-car maker reported its fifth
consecutive quarter of profits after years of losses.
Shares of AT&T rose 5.4% after the telecommunications
company reported a third-quarter loss that missed expectations but
revenue that beat forecasts.
Coca-Cola's shares added 1.3% after third-quarter revenue beat
Align Technology jumped 34% after the maker of Invisalign teeth
aligners reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. It
said dentist and orthodontist offices were reopening after
Investors will also be watching for any surprises when the
president and Democratic nominee Joe Biden meet at 9 p.m. ET for
the final debate before the election.
"If something big happens it could certainly be a big issue in
the markets tomorrow morning," but the likelihood is low, said Mr.
Hunter of Capital Economics.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1%, while
the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2% after the government set additional
support for companies affected by new coronavirus restrictions.
Europe has been struggling with a surge of new Covid-19 cases and
fresh restrictions that threaten the region's economic rebound.
In Asia, stocks fell. Japan's Nikkei index dropped 0.7%, South
Korea's Kospi fell 0.7% and China's Shanghai Composite nudged down
In commodity markets, Brent crude, the international benchmark
for oil, rose about 1.8% to $42.47 a barrel. Gold prices dropped
Write to Ben Eisen at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2020 13:52 ET (17:52 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
From Oct 2020 to Nov 2020
From Nov 2019 to Nov 2020