The stock market is currently in a tug-of-war – with one side optimistic over the coming vaccines – and the other side pessimistic over rising COVID-19 cases. After a strong rally that started with positive vaccine news from Pfizer, momentum shifted last week as market sentiment turned slightly negative on balance – weighed down by a rising/record high number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, along with various statewide restrictions on activities being imposed.
For the week the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell .7% to 29,263 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped .8 percent to 3,558. The NASDAQ Composite moved in the other direction, rising .2% to 11,855 as investors moved some money back into big tech, with some believing that sector would fare better during restriction/shutdown measures.
Looking to the week ahead, the market opened a bit higher this morning as additional vaccine/treatment news is offsetting negative news of a spike in cases and hospitalizations. This week also brings another batch of earnings reports as 3rd quarter earnings season comes to a close.
Notable companies reporting this week include Best Buy, Dollar Tree, Gap Inc, J.M. Smucker, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dell Technologies, VMware, and Deere & Co. Economic data due out this week includes Consumer Confidence, Initial Claims for Unemployment, New Home Sales, Personal Income, and Personal Spending. While any surprises with this data could be somewhat market moving, we expect the situation regarding the pandemic will remain the key focal point for the markets.
The financial markets are of course closed for Thanksgiving Day this Thursday, and the stock market closes early on Friday, with trading ending at 1:00 p.m. We hope you all have a happy and safe holiday and enjoy the long weekend!
All the best – Southport Station Financial Management, LLC