S&P 500, Dow sink to September lows on spiraling pandemic, election worry

29 Octobre, 2020, 17:30 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • S&P 500, Dow sink to September lows on spiraling pandemic, election worry

The sell-off accelerated during the session's final minutes, with both the Dow and benchmark S&P 500 posting their biggest single-day declines since June 11.

Less than a week ahead of the 2020 presidential election, the Dow is "down almost 9 percent since September 2.", The Washington Post writes.

For instance, the S&P 1500 airlines index and leisure related stocks fell as did the energy index SPN, with oil prices falling on demand fears.

"Uncertainty about COVID-19-related mobility restrictions and USA politics mean we should expect volatility to remain elevated for the balance of the year", chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management Mark Haefele said in a note.

Investors are anxious about various potential outcomes: that the election may be contested; a "blue wave" gives Biden a victory and his Democrats control of Congress; or that Trump gets re-elected, said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have continued their talks, but investors see little chance of a deal happening before Election Day next week.Economists say the economy likely needs such aid after the expiration of the last round of supplemental unemployment benefits and other stimulus approved by Washington earlier this year.In currency dealings, the dollar strengthened to 104.46 Japanese yen from 104.34 yen.

The worst performing sectors were Information Technology, which fell 4.33 percent and is up 40 percent this year, and Communication Services, which includes many digital media companies and is up 17.81 percent for the year and fell 4 percent Wednesday.

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A spiraling pandemic and a failure to reach a deal on a fresh round of US fiscal stimulus before the November 3 election have put the blue-chip Dow and the benchmark S&P 500 on track to erase their gains for October. The S&P 500 lost 96.32 points, or 2.84 per cent, to 3,294.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 339.66 points, or 2.97 per cent, to 11,091.70.

Volume on US exchanges was 11.00 billion shares.

The other Big Tech companies - Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook - which are due to report results on Thursday, fell between 0.9 percent and 1.6 percent.

Of the 206 S&P 500 companies that have reported third-quarter earnings so far, about83% have topped expectations, according to Refinitiv data. Profit on average is expected to fall 14.8% from a year earlier.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 10.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 6.28-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and eight new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 122 new lows.

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