S&P 500 Tumbles Most in a Month on Virus Spread: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) -- The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest drop in a month on concern rising coronavirus cases will hurt the global economy and as prospects dimmed for fiscal aid from Washington before the presidential election.
Losses for energy and industrial companies sent the benchmark gauge down 2.9% at one point, though stocks pared losses in the afternoon amid recoveries for the biggest technology companies and as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voiced optimism on a stimulus deal. Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Technologies Corp. slid on China’s plan to sanction the companies over arms sales to Taiwan.
In Europe, a gauge of tech stocks fell the most since March after German software maker SAP SE plunged 22% following a cut to its sales forecast and warnings that the pandemic will hurt business through mid-2021.
The dollar strengthened and Treasuries rose, sending yields on the 10-year lower. Oil futures and copper declined, while gold was little changed.
Investors remain focused on the prospect of a U.S. stimulus deal, even as time runs out to finish an aid package before the election. On the virus front, U.S. infections have hit a record in recent days. Europe took a step closer to the strict rules imposed during the initial wave of the pandemic, with leaders struggling to regain control of the spread while confronting growing opposition to restrictions.
“Fiscal stimulus seems to not be coming as quickly as we thought and the virus is coming quicker than we imagined,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager for GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta. “Putting those two together is somewhat of a reality check for the markets.”
In Washington, Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin again attempted to reconcile differences on a virus relief package. Differences between the two sides “have narrowed,” but “the more it narrows, the more conditions come up on the other side,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters.
“The overwhelming consensus in the market is that while the economic recovery to date is impressive, it still needs help,” said David Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth Management. “It’s not ready to stand on its own, and so some fiscal support is necessary and does not really seem to be forthcoming before year-end.”
In other markets, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped, with Japan and South Korea posting declines. Emerging-market stocks were also lower.
Turkey’s lira weakened past 8 per dollar for the first time. The central bank rattled investors last week by unexpectedly keeping rates on hold, and geopolitical risks have sapped interest in Turkish assets.
These are some events to watch this week:
- The Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee holds its all-important plenum, where it’s expected to chart the course for the economy’s development for the next 15 years. Through Oct. 29.
- Brexit negotiating teams have started intense daily negotiations, and these are likely to continue as both sides push to finalize a deal by the middle of November.
- Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank have monetary policy decisions Thursday, followed by briefings from Governor Kuroda and President Lagarde.
- The first reading of U.S. 3Q GDP Thursday is anticipated to be the strongest on record following a record dive in the prior quarter as many businesses were shuttered by the pandemic.
Here are the major moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 Index decreased 1.9% as of 4 p.m. New York time.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.8%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.4%.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.6%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4%.
- The euro fell 0.5% to $1.1807.
- The British pound fell 0.2% to $1.3019.
- The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 104.85 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined four basis points to 0.80%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.58%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.27%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude declined 3.2% to $38.56 a barrel.
- Gold was little changed at $1,902.20 an ounce.
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