Stock benchmarks lost much of the ground when it opened on Friday, with major benchmarks in danger of posting a fourth straight weekly loss as worries mount over the economic outlook without further help from Washington, the November and November presidential election the COVID-19 infections are increasing in the US and Europe.
What are the most important benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones industrial average
fell 89 points, or 0.3%, to 26,731, while the S&P 500
fell about 8 points, or 0.2%, to 3,239. Nasdaq Composite Index
gained 7 points or less than 0.1% to 10,680.
Shares rose in a troubled session Wednesday, with the Dow rising 52.31 points, or 0.2%, to close at 26,815.44, while the S&P 500 rose 9.67 points, or 0.3%, to 3,246.59 rose. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 3,246.59, an increase of 9.67 points or 0.3%.
What is driving the market?
"Overall, risk sentiment is still poor after investors witnessed the sharp decline in US equities this month as benchmarks see their first monthly loss since March," said Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM, in a note. Although the Cboe Volatility Index
"Appears relatively tame compared to the increase at the beginning of the month. Market participants need to remain vigilant and prepare for potentially higher volatility in the short term."
The VIX, which reflects investor expectations for the volatility of the S&P 500 over the next 30 days, is just below 30, above its long-term average near 20, after rising to nearly 36 earlier this month when tech Stocks caused a sharp market decline.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell from a record to correction territory in just three days earlier this month – a 10% decline from its recent high. The S&P 500 finished 9.6% below a record hit in early September on Wednesday before recovering slightly on Thursday.
Rising COVID-19 cases have led to the return of some lockdown measures in European countries, while rising cases in parts of the US have highlighted concerns about the potential for another wave in the US this fall. Signs of a slowdown in the economic recovery following the sudden halt in March triggered by the pandemic have undermined sentiment.
Investors continue to watch Washington for signs of progress on lengthy talks on another round of spending to cushion the blow from the pandemic. House Democrats on Thursday prepared a $ 2.4 trillion bailout package that includes a number of bipartisan support including direct payments to households, the paycheck protection program, the revival of a federal unemployment benefit allowance, as well as a Aid package Renewal of aid to airlines and money to keep restaurants open.
However, analysts said the path to an agreement remained unclear as the prospect of a hotly contested presidential election on Nov. 3, which could keep the outcome of the competition pending for weeks, grows nervous.
Read: Why investors are starting to freak out about the 2020 presidential election
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"Constructive news about Democrats and Republicans working on a compromise seems to be the most likely trigger for market sentiment to take a decisive turn for the better," wrote analysts at UniCredit Bank. "Other possible triggers are rare: cases of COVID-19 infection are increasing so rapidly that it will take more than a few days for a decline in infection rates to appear sustained."
In economic reports, durable goods orders rose 0.4% in August, the fourth straight gain but a modest increase after three strong gains in a row, the government said on Friday.
Economists had forecast an increase in orders for durable goods by 1.5% in August. Orders rose 11.7% in July and 7.7% in June.
Which companies are in focus?
Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp.
were down even though earnings and sales expectations for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year were exceeded.
jumped after the company announced on Thursday that it had started a final study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.
Sunworks Inc. Stocks
The recent higher rocket ride came at a good time for the photovoltaic-based power systems company.
Zillow Group Inc.
The prospects for house price growth over the next year have been raised as summer sales and prices have remained strong due to dwindling inventory levels and continued strong demand.
How are other markets doing?
The yield on the 10 year Treasury bill
was practically unchanged but fell 0.66% on Friday morning. Bond prices move in reverse to yields.
The ICE US dollar index
A measure of the value of the greenback relative to its main competitors rose 0.2% on its way to its steepest weekly rise since late April.
pulled back, losing all of the bottom it caught up on Thursday and some to weigh off $ 15.80, or 0.8%, at $ 1,861.10 an ounce.
US oil futures
fell 36 cents, or 0.9%, to trade at $ 39.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Europe-wide Stoxx Europe 600 Index
down 0.7% and the UK benchmark FTSE 100
shedding 0.4%. In Asia, the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong
fell 0.3% and the Shanghai Composite Index
ended the session 0.1% lower. Japan's Nikkei