How major United States stock indexes fared Monday

Daniel Fowler
October 14, 2020

Analysts expect earnings for the financial sector to slump 12.1% in the third quarter from a year earlier, while overall S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 19.6% drop in earnings, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

A widening lead for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in United States opinion polls has also been a positive for markets as investors expect more infrastructure spending and less global trade uncertainty, strategists and fund managers said. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.7% to 2,386.54 and the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.2% to 6,185.30.

The S&P 500 fell 22.29 points, or 0.6%, to 3,511.93.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 157.71 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 28,679.81. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fell 0.7%, to 1,636.85.

Trading in stock markets overseas was subdued as coronavirus counts climb around the world, raising the risk of more government restrictions on businesses. While all three major stock indexes closed in the red, Microsoft and Amazon helped mitigate the tech-heavy NASDAQ's loss. The pullback came as many forces are pushing and pulling on markets simultaneously. That would be the worst annual plunge since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The scale of disruptions in hard-hit economic sectors, notably restaurants, retail stores and airlines, suggests that without an available vaccine and effective drugs to combat the virus, many areas of the economy "face a particularly hard path back to any semblance of normalcy", the International Monetary Fund said.

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The odds of a big support package for the USA economy from Washington in the near term continue to diminish. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican-led Senate would vote next week on a targeted $500 billion coronavirus aid bill of the type Democrats already have rejected as they hold out for trillions in relief.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told fellow lawmakers in a letter that the White House's proposal for new coronavirus aid has insufficient offers on health-care issues.

Third-quarter earnings season is getting underway, with signs of overall improvement in expectations of how badly US companies have been hurt by the pandemic. JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, Citigroup and BlackRock all reported stronger results for the summer than analysts had forecast.

The major stock index ETFs are showing weakness on Tuesday along with their underlying benchmarks, as the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) are all slipping as of 130PM EST. But if that proves correct, it would not be as bad as the almost 32% plunge for the spring, according to FactSet.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 0.71% from 0.74% late Tuesday despite a report showing that inflation at the wholesale level strengthened more than economists expected last month. WTI rose 1.9 percent to 40-dollars 17-cents a barrel.

In energy dealings, USA benchmark crude gained 2 cents to $39.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brench crude, the global standard, also gave up 17 cents, to $42.29.

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