Stocks Raise as Chopsy Week on Wall Street Nears End



US stocks remained in line with expectations of retail sales data on Friday, indicating a possible mild gain on Wall Street on a volatile weekend.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% after falling broad stock gauge for the third day on Thursday. The benchmark is on track to extract one of its most one-week advances this year. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.4%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5%.

Data showed that US retail sales rose for the fifth consecutive month in September as consumers spent months preparing to work and study from home. Sales rose 1.9%, the Department of Commerce said, to more than 0.7% of what analysts had expected.

“They’re in really strong numbers,” said Jane Foley, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Rabbonk. Nevertheless, “there is an understanding that this may be the final storm.” He added that consumer-spending growth is likely to slow in the coming months due to the growing weakness in the labor market and a new round of economic relief is being delayed.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 0.751% from 0.730% Thursday. The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of others, slipped 0.1%.

Stocks have been picked up in recent times by spikes in the level of coronovirus infection and uncertainty around the possibility of a second batch of economic stimulus before election day. Investors say a new round of relief is needed to keep the US economy in recovery mode.

“There are some very important concerns that we’re going to see a ramp-up in transitions in the US,” said Ronald Temple, head of US equities at Lazard Asset Management. “I’m worried that there may be a headwind between now and the end of the year.”

Mr Temple said the burst of infection could prompt authorities to impose new restrictions, and that consumers are likely to be more cautious. He said that many vaccines are very likely to be developed and distributed.

Pfizer said it could be ready to apply for emergency-use authorization of its vaccines by the end of November, marking the first time a major Western vaccine developer provided such a specific timeline. Shares of the pharmaceutical giant rose nearly 2% before the bell in New York.

In pre-trade trading, shares of JB Hunt Transport Services fell nearly 6% after declining profits in the third quarter. Citizens’ financial group shares fell nearly 3% following the bank’s provision to reduce debt reduction provisions.

White House and Democratic negotiators on Thursday agreed to include a national coronovirus-testing strategy in the relief legislation. Many Republican lawmakers have been denied approval for another bill the size of $ 2 trillion, but President Trump insisted on Thursday that they would back him despite the current malfeasances.

“They can get something together, but it’s really amazing that it hasn’t happened yet,” said Capital Economics Senior Markets economist Jonas Goltermann.

Another factor weighing on the stock is concerns about how soon drugmakers will be able to hit the market with a vaccination shot, Mr. Golterman said, pointing to stagnation in Johnson & Johnson’s trialsOf

Vaccination. “It is more important than fiscal stimulus.”

More than half a dozen states on Thursday recorded a record number of new coronovirus cases, pushing the US one-day total to over 60,000 for the first time in two months. Midwestern states including Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan were particularly hard hit.

US retail sales beat expectations in September, underscoring a strong rebound in consumer spending on goods.


Photo:

Richard B. Levin / Zuma Press

If Washington does not provide a new round of excitement, according to Mr. Temple, consumer spending may falter over the winter. “It persists for a long time without any additional unemployment, making us more likely to see evictions, mortgage defects and other types of debt defaults,” he said.

Other figures indicate that the economy is already losing momentum. New applications for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, reached the highest level since late August last week.

Stocks are booming while companies have shed millions of workers from payroll. WSJ explains why the stock market is separated from economic reality in US photo illustration by Carlos Waters / WSJ

In overseas markets, European stocks made up for some recent losses, raising Stokes Europe by 600% to 1%. Trading in Asian markets closed down, with China’s Shanghai Composite Index down 0.1% and Japan’s Nikkei down 0.4%.

After investigating a bid by Liberty Steel Group to acquire steel operations by the German industrial group, Thyssenkrupp jumped 13%, giving European shares a lift. Fellow steelmaker ArcelorMittal also advanced.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said European luxury stocks gained momentum in the third quarter following strong growth in revenue for its biggest fashion brands. Shares of the region’s auto makers rose after Daimler voiced a spirited note for the remainder of 2020. s

US crude oil futures fell 1.2% to $ 40.74 a barrel ahead of weekly data on the number of active oil spills from Baker Hughes.

Write Joe Wall

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