US Stock Markets Ended Oct. 2, 2020

Despite President Trump testing positive for coronavirus, equities ended a volatility week higher as investors became more upbeat about a potential stimulus package. While the positive test for the President creates near term uncertainty, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Trump's prognosis changed the shape of talks over a new stimulus package. In economic news, nonfarm payrolls continued to improve with 661,000 jobs added in September but were below the consensus of 859,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.9% from 8.4% in August. The pace of growth in the manufacturing sector slowed in September, but still expanded with an ISM Manufacturing Index reading of 55.4. Year-to-date laggards' real estate, utilities and financials led the market higher for the week, while technology stocks were the second worst performing sector. Shares of Datadog Inc., a monitoring software for the cloud, jumped after announcing a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. that makes their platform a native service in Azure. Twilio Inc. also gapped higher after pre-announcing strong future growth at their analyst day. By contrast, Micron Technology, Inc. fell on disappointing earnings due to uncertainty around future margins. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. shares soared after same-store-sales increased by 6% versus an expected decline of 1.3%. Looking ahead, the path of COVID-19 and the presidential election will remain at the forefront of investors' minds. In addition, the major banks will report results starting in less than two weeks, which will provide a good barometer of the health of the overall economy.
Posted on Monday, October 5, 2020 @ 8:27 AM

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.