USA stock market has worst day in a month amid election uncertainty

Daniel Fowler
October 28, 2020

Most of the stocks in the index were lower, particularly oil producers and other companies whose profits tend to track the strength of the economy.

The S&P 500 posted its biggest daily decline in four weeks, while the Dow fell almost 650 points, as the United States, Russia, France and many other countries set records for COVID-19 infections, forcing some to impose new restrictions.

The parade of companies reporting better profits than expected for the last quarter also continued to grow, helping to steady the market somewhat. But even if a deal is reached, it could wither in the face of resistance from Republicans controlling the Senate.

Wall Street's fear gauge perked up on Tuesday, after closing at its highest level in almost two months on concerns about President Donald Trump's unexpected victory or an uncertain election outcome.

In another sign of caution, Treasury yields were pulling back after touching their highest level since June last week.

USA stock indexes are mixed Tuesday, as momentum slows following Wall Street's worst day in a month on worries about rising virus counts and Washington's inability to deliver more aid to the economy.

Coronavirus counts are spiking in much of the United States and Europe, raising concerns about more damage to the still-weakened economy.

All major S&P sectors were trading lower with economically-sensitive energy .SPNY , industrials .SPLRCI and financials .SPSY recording the steepest percentage declines.

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Cruise lines and airlines fell sharply.

The country saw more than 83,000 new infections both on Friday and Saturday, exceeding a previous single-day record of about 77,300 cases set in July, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

On Tuesday, oil prices steadied, with USA benchmark crude gaining 19 cents to $38.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Zoom Video Communications gained 1.2 percent. Markets in Hong Kong were closed for holidays. Stocks of companies worst hit by the pandemic logged some of the biggest losses. Strong exports led the rebound, economists said. Besides Amazon and Apple, Ford Motor, General Electric and Google's parent company, Alphabet, are also on the docket.

F5 Networks rose 8.6% for one of the best gains in the S&P 500 after it reported better earnings than expected. If that level holds, it would be the best since at least 2008, when FactSet's records began.

"It's going to be a little bit volatile in the next week depending on the results, but we're not expecting weeks of uncertainty", she said.

European stock markets fell, and Asian markets ended mixed.

In another reflection of volatility, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell as investors flocked to safer ground. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

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