TGIF. Stocks opened flat on an extremely light news day. Investors continued to digest the Federal Reserve’s decision from Wednesday and an influx of economic data. The S&P 500 Index is trying to avoid its first three-week losing streak since March. European markets are mixed in afternoon trading, while Asia was mainly green, led by a strong session out of China.
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Central bank season. The Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of Japan all met in September to discuss the economy and monetary policy going forward. We review their meetings and decisions in our Weekly Market Commentary, available Monday by 1 p.m. ET.
Technical update. The S&P 500 lost ground for the second straight day on Thursday, falling 0.8% and closing just a hair above its 50-day moving average at 3340. Despite the nearly 1% loss, the materials, industrials, and energy sectors were all higher on the day, with materials closing at an all-time record high. Markets are little changed in early trading, as the S&P 500 will look to hold onto weekly gains and its 50-day moving average heading into the weekend.
COVID-19 news. Thursday was the fifth straight day that the seven-day average of new cases in the United States moved higher, with the latest reading up 10% week over week (source: COVID Tracking Project). Hospitalizations are 23% below the August average, but the seven-day average is up 14% since September 8. London may put new restrictions in place amid a surge in cases, and cases in Western Europe have continued their steady rise. Globally, cases have topped 30 million.
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