Stocks treaded water last week amid fading prospects for a stimulus bill, fears of a second wave of COVID-19 cases, and increasing political and regulatory pressures on Big Tech companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added just 0.07% while the Standard & Poor’s 500 eked out a gain of 0.19%. The Nasdaq Composite index picked up 0.79% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slid 2.08%.1,2,3
But stocks stumbled midweek on a mixed bag of early earnings results, and an increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Disappointing news on some key COVID-19 treatment trials also weighed on the market, as did a jump in new jobless claims and a continued stalemate on a fiscal stimulus package.
Stocks attempted to rally on Friday, emboldened by strong retail sales, but lost momentum as trading came to a close.
Earnings Season Kicks Off
Airlines fared less well. Investors were disappointed with the quarterly reports even though the average daily cash burn at these companies generally improved. Airline management uniformly accompanied their earnings announcements with warnings of continued near-term weakness due to COVID-19.5
THIS WEEK: KEY ECONOMIC DATA
Source: Econoday, October 16, 2020
THIS WEEK: COMPANIES REPORTING EARNINGS
Source: Zacks, October 16, 2020
1. The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2020
2. The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2020
3. The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2020
4. CNBC.com, October 13, 2020
5. CNBC.com, October 14, 2020
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Weekly Market Insights: A Difficult Week for Stocks
October 20, 2020