Stocks bounce to end the week. US stocks are extending gains seen in the second half of Thursday’s session.
- European markets are showing broad-based gains.
- Asian markets had a mixed session.
Election 2020 client presentation. A new client presentation with two dozen of our election-specific charts is available on LPL Research’s Election 2020 page.
Leading indicators show growth is moderating. The Conference Board released its Leading Economic Index (LEI), which revealed that the blistering pace of economic growth seen during the summer is slowing as we enter the fourth quarter. While the economy doesn’t appear to be at risk of contracting, the LEI results may touch on the importance of additional fiscal stimulus to maintain consumer confidence. We take a closer look at the LEI later today on the LPL Research blog.
Election 2020 update. Thursday night’s final presidential debate included new debate rules to help create a more organized discussion, but it’s unlikely to move the needle much. With just 12 days remaining until the election, a remarkable 50 million Americans have already cast their ballot as of October 23, amounting to roughly 36% of the total vote in 2016 according to the US Elections Project. With such a high early voter turnout, the debate may have less of an impact as past debates.
Technical update. The S&P 500 Index has tested support at 3425 each day this week, holding every time. Thursday the index briefly traded to its lowest level since October 7 before reversing course and gaining 0.5%. Small caps outperformed again. The Russell 2000 Index gained 1.7% and has now outperformed the S&P 500 by 5.4% in October.
COVID-19 news. New daily cases in the United States rose 21% week over week, pushing the seven-day average up to near 61,000, a 14% increase over the prior week (source: COVID Tracking Project). The seven-day average number of hospitalizations rose 7.5% to a two-month high, and COVID-19 deaths rose to a one-month high near 1,200. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir (under the brand name Veklury) for COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization.
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