Stocks Drop With Economy Worries; Dollar Slips: Markets Wrap

Stocks Drop With Economy Worries; Dollar Slips: Markets Wrap

Contracts on the S&P 500 Index were flat after the gauge slipped from a four-month high, led by losses in technology firms and companies that make non-essential consumer goods.

Because Microsoft is one of the largest US stocks by market value, its movements have an outsized effect on indexes like the S&P 500. Tesla Inc. slid even after results beat estimates.

"You are going to have that volatility, but people are looking through a lot of it", said Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist for Crossmark Global Investments.

The British pound was little changed at US$1.2736.

The dollar slid to 22-month lows against a basket of peer currencies and gold rose for a fifth straight session to nearly $1,900 an ounce, off about $25 from its all-time peak as rising U.S. After the success of a European rescue package this week, Senate Republicans and the Trump administration are struggling to reach consensus on another stimulus plan.

The market's dogged optimism on economic recovery had been challenged on Thursday by data showing the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week for the first time in almost four months. That said, today's red-colored tape nevertheless provides a healthy reminder that stocks can lose value and do not 'only go up'.

But with the rise come greater expectations, and analysts pointed to a 47% growth rate reported for Microsoft's Azure cloud business during the quarter.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.12%.

DuPage County reports 116 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday including 1 death
The county's infection rate, which measures two weeks worth of positive tests per 100,000 population, is at 99.7. The health department reported 311 additional cases out of Philadelphia, which includes data from two days.

"There has been a turn in dollar sentiment", said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Forex in NY.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.6% to 27,005.66, the highest in six weeks on the biggest gain in a week. The Nasdaq composite fell 244.71 points, or 2.3%, to 10,461.42.

But Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up a bare 0.08% as Wall Street struggled after data showed the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week for the first time in almost four months.

MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets fell 0.77%, pulled lower by Wall Street. The euro rose to $1.1615 from $1.1596.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 0.58%, while Bloomberg's dollar index weakened for a fifth straight day.

Traders pleased with the deal have also pushed Italian borrowing costs lower, and yields on 10-year government debt dropped to a new 4-1/2 month low, moving closer to 1%.

Oil prices gathered 28 cents to $41.35 USA a barrel.

Crude slumped, while precious metals continued their torrid run of gains that have taken gold and silver prices to multiyear highs.

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