Wall Street pauses as Biden edges closer to victory

In this news, we discuss the Wall Street pauses as Biden edges closer to victory.

(Reuters) – Major Wall Street indexes took a hiatus on Friday after strong gains this week as Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to victory in a heartbreaking election, as the monthly jobs report highlighted the economic challenge facing the next US president.

Biden took over as President Donald Trump in the battlefield states of Pennsylvania and Georgia, putting him on the verge of winning the White House hours after Trump falsely claimed the election was “stolen” from him .

“The markets have been pretty comfortable with this idea (of a win at Biden), but if it is challenged it adds a bit of uncertainty,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in Saint -Petersburg, Florida.

“Even though these states are very close, we may have to go back and relate, so we are in a long period of uncertainty.

Despite Friday’s losses, the benchmark S&P 500 and the high-tech Nasdaq were on track for their best week since April, with the prospect of a political deadlock in Washington allaying concerns about tighter regulations on American companies.

Republicans could retain control of the U.S. Senate pending the outcome of four indecisive races and they would likely block much of Biden’s legislative agenda, including expanding health care and tackling climate change.

Meanwhile, the government’s closely watched report showed unemployment fell sharply to 6.9% last month from 7.7% in September, but the employment recovery slowed as budget support declined and as daily cases of coronavirus were increasing.

“Despite a near-term rally, we’re finally going to see some real challenges in the payroll and the economy,” said Phil Toews, managing director and portfolio manager of Toews Corp in New York.

“The most leading indicator is the number of (COVID-19) cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the country, and this is going in the wrong direction.” At 12:36 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.31% to 28,299.98, the S&P 500 lost 0.16% to 3,504.79, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.21% to 11,866.16.

Technology mega-caps, including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc fell after posting strong gains this week and was among the biggest drag on the benchmark S&P 500.

Coty Inc jumped 15% as the cosmetics maker beat analyst estimates for quarterly revenue, while T-Mobile US Inc gained 6.1% after adding more phone subscribers than the analysts had only expected it in the third quarter.

Electronic Arts Inc fell 7.8% after the video game maker fell below quarterly sales estimates.

Falling issues topped the number of advancers by 1.42 to 1 on the NYSE and 1.59 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P Index recorded 40 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 168 new highs and 22 new lows.

Reporting by Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta

Original © Thomson Reuters

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