U.S. Stocks Slip Ahead of First Trump-Biden Debate
By Anna Hirtenstein
U.S. stocks pulled back Tuesday after two sessions of solid
gains as investors looked ahead to the first debate between
President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden before the
The S&P 500 hovered around the flatline, while the Dow Jones
Industrial Average edged down 0.2%, or about 58 points. The
tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ticked down less than 0.1%.
Heading into the end of a turbulent September, major indexes
edged up Thursday and then notched big gains Friday and Monday. The
S&P 500 is up 3.7% in 2020 but down 4.3% for the month.
Market volatility is on the rise as the November U.S. election
gets closer. Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden will face off at 9 p.m. ET in
Cleveland, Ohio, to discuss their respective records, the
coronavirus pandemic, the economy, race and violence. Other issues
are likely to be their views on mail-in voting, interference by
overseas interests and potential election fraud.
"People will read into this debate for answers to questions
about whether the results of the election will be accepted by
either side," said Tony Dalwood, chief executive of Gresham House
Asset Management. "If there's any uncertainty around this, that
will lead to volatility."
Investors are also continuing to assess the now-dimming
prospects for new additional spending to support the economy.
House Democrats released a $2.2 trillion-bill for a
coronavirus-relief package on Monday evening. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi was expected to speak to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
on Tuesday morning. But the focus in Congress has turned to the
selection of a new Supreme Court justice, analysts said.
"A combination of the situation with the Supreme Court, and
Democrats being unwilling to hand Trump a major fiscal stimulus
just before the election, makes it quite unlikely that we'll see
something passed," said Sebastian Mackay, a multiasset fund manager
Among individual stocks, shares of Abbott Laboratories rose 1.6%
after Mr. Trump said 150 million rapid coronavirus tests from the
pharmaceutical company would be shipped across the U.S.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 declined 0.2% as
coronavirus cases continued to rise, raising the risk of more
stringent measures being introduced by governments in the
In Asia, major stock benchmarks were mixed by the close of
trading. The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.2% and Hong Kong's
Hang Seng Index slipped 0.9%.
In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to
0.651%, from 0.661% on Monday.
Karen Langley contributed to this article.
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 29, 2020 10:16 ET (14:16 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.