S&P 500, Dow sink to late-Sept lows on virus woes

30 Octobre, 2020, 04:21 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • The rebound came after a more than 3% slide a day earlier in Wall Street's main indexes

The S&P 500 and the Dow slumped on Wednesday to their lowest levels since late September, as coronavirus cases climbed globally and investors also anxious about the possiblity of a contested U.S. presidential election next week. Shares of hotels, airlines and other companies sensitive to Covid-19-related turmoil fell. The energy index fell as oil prices tumbled on fears of a deeper drop in fuel demand.

Although October 28 is statistically the best trading day of the year, the main indexes dropped as new cases and hospitalizations set records in the Midwest, and Europe eyed new lockdowns.

"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.

Wall Street's fear gauge spiked to its highest level in almost two months as investors feared a contentious election among other outcomes in the final six-day stretch to the White House race. Concerns that a victor might not be declared the night of November 3 also spurred the wide sell-off.

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.

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Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 1.7% to 5,952.40.Shares also fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.The future for the S&P 500 rebounded, gaining 0.9% to 3,293.80 while the future contract for the Dow industrials added 1% to 26,668.00.In the US, cases are increasing in just about every state and the number of deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are on the rise.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors sank, with technology and energy down 4.33 percent and 4.22 percent, respectively, leading the losses. The Nasdaq composite slumped 3.7% to 11,004.87. 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 selling was widespread, and 96% of stocks in the S&P 500 fell.Crude oil slipped further, with USA benchmark crude giving up 5 cents to $37.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. With Microsoft and Amazon.com, they weighed the most on the S&P 500.

Of the 206 S&P 500 companies that have reported third-quarter earnings so far, about 83% have topped expectations, according to Refinitiv data. But earnings on average are 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 500 posted one new 52-week highs and nine new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 15 new highs and 110 new lows.

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