S&P 500 posts worst one-week loss since March as virus concerns resurge

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Stocks fell sharply on Friday, bringing each of the three major indices to post steep weekly and monthly declines.

The S&P 500 posted a weekly decline of 5.6%, after a rally on Thursday did little to offset major drops earlier in the week and on Friday. This marked the index’s worst one-week slump since March, at the height of the pandemic. The Dow fell more than 6% for the week. The Nasdaq fared just slightly better, dropping 5.5% over last week. Each of the three major indices also posted monthly declines.

Shares of heavily weighted Big Tech companies dropped after leading the market higher during Thursday’s regular session. Though most reported third-quarter results that topped expectations, traders had set their expectations exceptionally high for these names following their strong run of outperformance against the broader market this year.

Facebook (FB) shares fell after the company reported a quarterly decline in users in the U.S. and Canada, despite posting a 12% jump in daily active users globally during the period and growing sales by a better-than-expected 22%. Advertising sales also picked back up at Twitter (TWTR), though the company reported weaker daily active user growth than expected following a surge in the preceding quarter. Alphabet (GOOGL) managed to reverse an advertising sales decline from the second quarter, and shares jumped following the results.

Elsewhere, Amazon (AMZN) also posted a major beat on third-quarter results as revenue grew 37% to more than $96 billion. Its guided toward holiday quarter sales of as much as $121 billion, though its profit guidance came in light as the company projected $4 billion in costs related to COVID-19, or double the amount the company guided toward for the third quarter. Apple (AAPL) posted record fiscal fourth-quarter Mac and services sales and topped estimates, but weak iPhone and China sales weighed on the stock in late trading.

Traders largely looked beyond a pair of much better than expected economic data reports from Thursday morning. Third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product rose by a record 33.1% on an annualized basis, and new weekly jobless claims improved by a greater than expected margin.

4:04 p.m. ET: Stocks end the week, month lower as virus concerns resurge

Here’s where the three major indices settled at the end of equity trading on Friday:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -40.08 points (-1.21%) to 3,270.03

  • Dow (^DJI): -157.51 points (-0.59%) to 26,501.60

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -274.00 points (-2.45%) to 10,911.59

1:58 p.m. ET: Cruise stocks jump after CDC lifts no-sail order

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new announcement Friday that it will allow U.S. cruise ships to begin a phased approach to resume sailing in U.S. waters starting this Sunday.

“After expiration of CDC’s No Sail Order (NSO) on October 31, 2020, CDC will take a phased approach to resuming cruise ship passenger operations in U.S. waters,” according to the CDC’s newly published “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for Cruise Ships.”

Cruise stocks including Carnival Corporation (CCL), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) and Royal Caribbean (RCL) spiked immediately following the announcement.

1:34 p.m. ET: Stocks hold onto losses as session continues

The three major indices remained sharply lower in afternoon trading on Friday as tech stocks continued to lead to the downside.

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 1:34. p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -61.76 points (-1.87%) to 3,248.35

  • Dow (^DJI): -385.49 points (-1.45%) to 26,273.62

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -320.45 points (-2.87%) to 10,864.52

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.83 (-2.29%) to $35.34 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$12.00 (+0.64%) to $1,880.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.7 bps to yield 0.853%

11:07 a.m. ET: Fed lowers minimum loan size for Main Street Lending Program to try and attract more borrowers

The Federal Reserve on Friday announced it lowered the minimum loan size for the Main Street Lending Program to $100,000 from $250,000 previously, and that “fees have been adjusted to encourage the provision of these smaller loans,” according to the Fed’s statement.

Uptake for the Main Street Lending Program has been weak so far, with the Fed having offered just 400 loans totaling $3.7 billion as of Friday, out of a total $600 billion capacity. As many pundits have pointed out, many small- and mid-sized businesses have stayed on the sidelines from taking on more loans that they would eventually need to pay back during the pandemic.

10:33 a.m. ET: Stock selloff picks up steam; Dow sheds 350+ points or 1.4%

The three major indices added to losses mid-morning on Friday. The Dow shed more than 350 points, or 1.4%, as shares of Apple slumped more than 5% after reporting earnings results after market close on Thursday. Big Tech stocks as a cohort were under pressure on Friday, leading the Nasdaq to underperform. The tech-heavy index fell more than 2% intraday, while the S&P 500 fell about 1.5%.

10:01 a.m. ET: University of Michigan sentiment index ticks up to 81.8 from 81.2 in final print

Consumer sentiment ticked up at the end of October, with the University of Michigan’s final monthly index rising to 81.8 from 81.2 in the advance print. In September, the index had been at 80.4.

A subindex tracking consumer expectations for the future rose to 79.2 from 75.6 in September, while an index tracking consumers’ assessments of current economic conditions edged lower to 85.9 from 87.8.

“Consumer sentiment remained virtually unchanged from the first half of October (+0.6 points) and was insignificantly different from last month’s figure (+1.4 points). Fear and loathing produced this false sense of stability. Fears were generated by rising COVID infection and death rates, and loathing was generated by the hyper-partisanship that has driven the election to ideological extremes,” Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, said in a statement Friday. “Moreover, the impact of the COVID virus and the extremes of hyper-partisanship will continue long past next week’s election, with the potential to permanently alter the economic and political landscape.”

9:43 a.m. ET: Chevron surprises with a quarterly profit, Exxon Mobil warns of write downs

Chevron (CVX) on Friday posted a surprise third-quarter profit, with aggressive cost-cutting helping the oil major eke out earnings despite a steep virus-related drop in crude oil demand. Adjusted earnings of 11 cents per share were much better than the adjusted loss of 27 cents per share anticipated. The company’s revenue, however, was still down 26% over last year to just under $27 billion.

Still, CEO Mike Wirth highlighted that, ““The world’s economy continues to operate below pre-pandemic levels, impacting demand for our products which are closely linked to economic activity.”

“We remain focused on what we can control – safe operations, capital discipline and cost management,” Wirth added “Compared to last year’s third quarter, organic capital expenditures and operating expenses were down 48% and 12%, respectively.”

Exxon Mobil (XOM), meanwhile, posted a third-quarter loss that was better than feared, but said it may take write downs of between $25-$30 billion on long-lived assets including natural gas fields due to weakened energy demand during the pandemic. The company’s quarterly loss came out to 15 cents per share, versus the loss of 25 cents per share loss consensus analysts were anticipating.

Exxon’s earnings also come just following the company’s announcement Thursday that it planned to cut about 14,000 positions across contractors and employees, or about 15% of its global workforce. The cuts are expected to impact about 1,900 positions in the U.S.

9:31 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower as indices head for weekly losses

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:31 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -15.7 points (-0.47%) to 3,294.41

  • Dow (^DJI): -93.87 points (-0.35%) to 26,565.24

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -92.54 points (-0.74%) to 11,102.41

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.37 (-1.02%) to $35.80 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$20.90 (+1.12%) to $1,888.90 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.2 bps to yield 0.838%

9:13 a.m. ET: Under Armour shares surge after company shows signs of sales stabilization, announces MyFitnessPal sale

Under Armour (UAA) shares jumped in pre-market trading after the company posted third-quarter sales that were flat over last year, after posting two straight quarters of steep declines previously. The company also raised its fourth-quarter guidance to see revenue down at a low-teen percentage rate, versus the previous guidance for a sales drop of as much as 25%.

Sales for the quarter ended in September were $1.4 billion, or better than the $1.2 billion expected. Online ordering was the major sales driver, with direct-to-consumer revenue up 17% to $540 million and helping offset a decline in wholesale.

The company also announced it agreed to see its MyFitnessPal fitness-tracking app to the private equity firm Francisco Partners for $345 million. Under Armour purchased the platform about 5 years ago.

8:34 a.m. ET: Personal income, spending rise more than expected in September

Americans’ personal income rose by a greater than expected 0.9% in September following a 2.5% drop during the previous month, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Friday report. A pick-up in employment and augmented jobless payments President Donald Trump authorized in August helped offset a decline in other federal benefits relating to the pandemic. Consensus economists were looking for income to rise by 0.4% for the month, according to Bloomberg data.

Personal spending also increased more than expected with a 1.4% rise in September. Consensus economists expected the spending rate to remain unchanged month over month at 1.0%.

The personal savings rate declined for a fifth straight month, but at 14.3%, remained above the 8.3% rate in February before the pandemic.

7:17 a.m. ET Friday: Futures point to a lower open as stocks look to close out a week of deep losses

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:17 a.m. ET Friday:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,284.00, down 18.25 points or 0.55%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 26,404.00, down 153 points or 0.58%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,229.25, down 113.5 points or 1.00%

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.11 (+0.30%) to $36.28 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$6.80 (+0.36%) to $1,874.80 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.9 bps to yield 0.827%

6:04 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures open lower

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:04 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,271.5, down 30.75 points or 0.93%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 26,330.00, down 227 points or 0.85%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,216.25, down 126.5 points or 1.12%

A trader wears a face mask on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following traders testing positive for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York, U.S., March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A trader wears a face mask on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following traders testing positive for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York, U.S., March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

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