S&P 500, Dow close higher on vaccine update, retail sales beat
By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 advanced on Friday as further clarity regarding the timeline for the development of a coronavirus vaccine and much better-than-expected retail sales data and brought buyers back to the market. The Dow also joined the S&P in positive territory, both indexes snapping a three-day losing streak driven by halted vaccine trials and continued wrangling in Washington over a new pandemic relief package. But the Nasdaq ended the session slightly lower
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 advanced on Friday as further clarity regarding the timeline for the development of a coronavirus vaccine and much better-than-expected retail sales data and brought buyers back to the market.
The Dow also joined the S&P in positive territory, both indexes snapping a three-day losing streak driven by halted vaccine trials and continued wrangling in Washington over a new pandemic relief package. But the Nasdaq ended the session slightly lower.
Even so, they all posted gains on the week.
"The two highest-level market movers are the vaccine timeline and stimulus optimism," said Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky. "Sometimes the market gets a reality check that even if we get a vaccine early next year that's an incredibly aggressive and optimistic timeline."
"It's important from the retail sales data to see that the consumer is not just limping a long but exceeding expectations," Mayfield added. "I don't know how long this can continue without stimulus but it's heartening to see the consumer has held up pretty well despite some dire expectations."
On the stimulus front, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that President Donald Trump would "weigh in" with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if an agreement is reached on a new pandemic relief package. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, however, said he does not expect an agreement to be reached ahead of the Nov. 3 election as long as Pelosi is involved.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 110.01 points, or 0.39%, to 28,604.21, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.58 points, or 0.02%, to 3,483.92 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 42.32 points, or 0.36%, to 11,671.56.
Third-quarter reporting season burst from the starting gate this week, with 49 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 86% have cleared the low bar set by expectations, according to Refinitiv.
Analysts now see S&P 500 earnings for the July to September period dropping, in aggregate, by 18.7% year-on-year, an improvement from the 21.4% plunge estimated at the beginning of the month, per Refinitiv.
Railroad operator Kansas City Southern
The Dow Jones Transport index <.DJT>, considered a barometer of economic health, also lost ground.
Shares of fitness company Peloton Interactive Inc
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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