Published: Sat, October 17, 2020
Economy | By

USA open: Stocks head south for third day in a row

USA open: Stocks head south for third day in a row

Expectations had been for retail sales to increase by 0.7%, up from a 0.6% rise in August.

Pfizer stock was up 2.2% to $37.33.

"This was a strong showing by the consumer", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in NY.

Pfizer jumped 3.8 per cent and BioNTech rose 4.1 per cent after announcing they would seek emergency authorization for their Covid-19 vaccine in late November. "Even though we still have high unemployment, the consumer hasn't changed his spending habits yet".

Market participants left questioning whether a Covid-19 aid deal was still possible during the session, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that reaching a stimulus agreement before the election would be hard.

Investors grew concerned over the uncertain fate of a USA coronavirus stimulus deal. "We could see something before the election but whoever wins the election will probably give us a bigger stimulus package which is desperately needed".

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, seven ended the session in the black.

At 11:17 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 255.40 points, or 0.90%, at 28,749.60, the S&P 500 was up 18.31 points, or 0.53%, at 3,501.65.

The S&P 500 posted a nominal gain on Friday as further clarity regarding the timeline for the development of a coronavirus vaccine and much better-than-expected retail sales data and brought buyers back to the market.

Of those, 86 per cent have cleared the low bar set by expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Wall Street's major averages finished lower as uncertainty over a fresh US coronavirus relief package unnerved investors.

Kansas City Southern shed 2.3% as the railroad operator's quarterly revenue missed estimates, while transportation and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc tumbled 8.1% after it missed profit estimates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.26-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

Hopes of another round of fiscal aid to support the USA economy's recovery helped fuel Wall Street's recent rally, bringing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq earlier this week to within 2% of their record closing highs from Sept 2.

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