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Stock Market News for Oct 14, 2020

Wall Street closed lower on Tuesday due to uncertainty on second round of coronavirus-aid package. Moreover, negative developments on COVID-19 treatment fronts also dented market participant's confidence. All the three major stock indexes ended in red.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 0.6% or 157.71 points to close at 28,679.81, reversing a 4-day winning streak. Notably, 23 components of the 30-stock index ended in the red while 7 finished in green.

Moreover, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite finished at 11,863.90, dropping 0.1% due to the weak performance by large-cap technology stocks. The tech-heavy index has declined after four successive days.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 dipped 0.6% to end at 3,511.93, ending the 4-day winning run. The Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF), the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) and the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) tumbled 1.9%, 1.7% and 1.6%, respectively. Notably, ten out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in negative zone and one in the green.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 4% to 26.07. A total of 8.5 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 9.72 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 2-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.50-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Uncertainty on Fresh Fiscal Stimulus

U.S. Congress is yet to reach an amicable solution regarding the size and scope of a second round of coronavirus-aid package. The Democrats have settled for $2.2 trillion stimulus while the White House approved only $1.8 trillion.

It is not clear whether a deal will arrive before the U.S. presidential election scheduled on Nov 3, though  House speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is still hopeful for a deal. Meanwhile, the Republic-controlled Senate leader Mitch McConnell said he will release a separate stimulus proposal worth just $500 billion. President Donald Trump has already rejected this proposal.  

Lack of Good News on COVID-19 Treatment

The year 2020 is likely to remain coronavirus-stricken as the availability of a vaccine by this year-end looks unlikely. On Oct 13, the U.S. FDA has paused the late-stage clinical trials of Eli Lilly and Co.'s LLY leading monoclonal antibody treatment for the coronavirus over potential safety concerns.

On Oct 12, Johnson & Johnson JNJ announced that the company has halted clinical trials of its late-stage vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19 after a participant reported an “adverse event” a day before. The company's data and safety monitoring board will investigate the unexplained illness in details.

Last month, AstraZeneca plc AZN halted late-stage clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine on safety concerns. The company was conducting clinical trials in association with Oxford University. However, the clinical trial has restarted in the U.K.

Each of these three stocks carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic Data

The Department of Labor reported that consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2% in September, in line with the consensus estimate. CPI rose 0.4% in August. September's data is the lowest in four months. Year over year, CPI grew 1.4% compared with 1.3% in August.

The core CPI (excluding volatile food and energy items) rose 0.2% in September, in line with the consensus estimate. The core CPI rose 0.4% in August. September's data is the lowest in four months. Year over year, the core CPI grew 1.7%, remained flat sequentially.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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