Featured Stocks Fall For Second Day As Stimulus Dampens Sentiment By Ian Young
17 October, 2020, 08:44
United States stocks had rallied in recent sessions on optimism that the government would provide a fresh stimulus to reduce damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
"Sometimes the market gets a reality check that even if we get a vaccine early next year that's an incredibly aggressive and optimistic timeline".
The data for September showed that U.S. retail sales rose 1.9% month, well ahead of estimates of around 0.6% and emphasizing that consumers are still spending on goods despite the raging pandemic, high unemployment, and a seemingly sluggish economic recovery.
US stocks closed mixed on Friday as investors pored through the nation's monthly retail sales data.
On the stimulus front, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that President Donald Trump would "weigh in" with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if an agreement is reached on a new pandemic relief package. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed, led higher by Healthcare, Energy shares bucked the trend.
The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to finished an up-down week at 28,606.31, while the broad-based S&P 500 was essentially flat, rising just 0.1 per cent to end at 3,483.81.
UnitedHealth Group Inc dropped 2.9%, despite raising its profit forecast, as the USA insurer said it was hard to predict the fallout of the pandemic on earnings. Of those, 86% have cleared the low bar set by expectations, according to Refinitiv. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 1.2 percent increase.
Schlumberger NV's shares dipped after posting its third straight quarterly loss due to falling crude prices and plunging demand.
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.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.26-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 posted 23 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 109 new highs and 14 new lows.