Friday November 6th

6-11-2020

Dow futures fall more than 200 points following post-election rally

U.S. stock index futures sank early Friday as Wall Street eyed its best week since April even as the results of the presidential election remained unclear. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 259 points, or 0.9%, while futures for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 slid 1% and 1.2%, respectively. Wall Street was coming off its fourth-straight positive session on Thursday and the major averages were on track for their best week since April 9. The S&P 500 and the Dow are up 7% so far this week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has led the way with a nearly 9% gain. The sharp rally follows a slump in the prior week. The surge in stocks has come despite lingering uncertainty about the outcome of Tuesday’s election. Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads with 253 electoral votes, according to NBC News projections, while President Donald Trump has 214. Votes are still being counted in several key states including Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia. According to NBC News, Biden has taken a slight lead in Georgia while Trump’s advantage in Pennsylvania has become narrower. Victories by Republicans in several key Senate races, thus lowering the odds of a “blue wave” and the potential for higher taxes and stronger regulations, have been cited by Wall Street strategists as a reason for the rally in tech stocks. However, Republicans have not yet won the necessary seats to control the Senate, according to NBC News projections, with two potential run-off elections in Georgia. Alicia Levine, chief strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management, said that the possibility of Democrats winning narrow control of the Senate was one of the major risks not priced into the market even if the runoffs wouldn’t necessarily cause the markets to dip. “The market is now pricing in a Biden presidency with a Republican Senate, and the rotation that we saw was based on that,” Levine said. “And if there’s an increasing risk that that’s not the case for the Senate, then this entire move could also be somewhat at risk as well.” Levine also said that the strength of tech stocks was due in part to their strong earnings performance and resiliency in the case of new economic restrictions in the United States during the winter to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Republicans have filed a flurry of legal challenges in several states related to the ongoing vote counts, and the Trump campaign said it will request a recount in Wisconsin. In an announcement from the White House on Thursday night, Trump falsely claimed victory in several states and made accusations of voter fraud without evidence, saying “there’s a tremendous amount of litigation generally because of how unfair this process was.” The Biden campaign, meanwhile, has called for all votes to be counted. “Democracy’s sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well,” the former vice president in a short speech in Delaware on Thursday, adding that he was confident his ticket would be declared the winner once all the votes are counted. On the economic front, Friday will bring a fresh look at the labor market for investors, with the Labor Department’s October jobs report scheduled to be released before the bell. The report comes on the heels of disappointing readings for ADP private payrolls and initial jobless claims. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday as investors continued to wait for a result from the U.S. election. Mainland Chinese stocks were lower by their close, with the Shanghai composite down 0.24% to about 3,312.16 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.402% to around 13,838.42. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.14%, as of its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.91% higher at 24,325.23 while the Topix index added 0.52% to finish its trading day at 1,658.49. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.11% higher to close at 2,416.50. U.S. oil fell more than 3% on Friday as new lockdowns in Europe to halt surging infections of Covid-19 sparked concern about the outlook for demand, while markets remained on edge over drawn-out vote counting in the U.S. election. West Texas Intermediate was down $1.23, or 3.17%, at $37.56 a barrel, after dropping 0.9% on Thursday. Brent crude was off $1.13, or 2.76%, at $39.80, having fallen 0.7% in the previous session. Gold rose on Friday en route to its best week in more than three months as the dollar slid on uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election outcome, with bets for continued pandemic-led stimulus and accommodative monetary policy bolstering bullion’s appeal. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,953.21 per ounce. Prices jumped by 2.4% on Thursday, setting them up for a 3.9% weekly gain, which would be gold’s best since late July. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,954.20.