Volatile Week Marked by Stimulus Sentiment, Earnings

The major indexes oscillated between black and red all week

Assistant Editor
Oct 23, 2020 at 1:58 PM
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It was a volatile week on Wall Street, as second stimulus sentiment flipped back and forth amid a slew of corporate earnings and economic data. Monday started with a drastic pivot, as the Dow closed 410 points lower after the morning's triple-digit gains due to climbing coronavirus cases worldwide. The next day, stimulus talks progressed as Nancy Pelosi's "deadline" approached, though that was later downplayed, and stocks rose while the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) logged its seventh-straight win. By mid-week, stocks closed lower once again after a rollercoaster day of trading. Shares continued their roller-coaster run on Thursday, closing higher on big-name earnings and upbeat jobs data, while stimulus and election news carried on. Friday morning, stocks rose and the three benchmarks looked to start their first two-day streak of the week in either direction, however, in cohesion with this week's theme, they reversed course by midday. Now, the indexes are on track for weekly losses -- the S&P and Dow's first in three weeks and the Nasdaq's first in four. 

Earnings Reports Were Big Movers This Week

As earnings season rages on, plenty of these corporate earnings affected the broader market this week. Blue-chip stock Procter & Gamble (PG) rose on a fiscal first-quarter earnings beat and raised full-year forecast. Another Dow stock, Coca-Cola (KO), which had options traders pessimistic ahead of earnings, ended up rising on Thursday alongside 2020 darling Tesla (TSLA) -- which scored its fifth-straight profit beat

On the other end of things, Netflix (NFLX) plummeted after an earnings miss despite better-than-expected revenue, leading to a surge in options. Meanwhile, American Express (AXP) saw options volume on both sides of the tape after its mixed third-quarter report. 

Commodities In Focus

Oil and gold stocks were highlighted this week as well. Oil service stock Halliburton Company (HAL) experienced a post-earnings volatility crush. The same day, ConocoPhillips (COP) announced its acquisition of Concho Resources Inc (CXO) for $9.7 billion, as the two U.S. shale giants consolidate amid a widespread oil sector struggle. Later in the week, gold entered the mix. Newmont Corporation (NYSE:NEM) pulled back to a historically bullish signal, with other technical support in play. 

Busy Pre-Election Week Ahead

Investors have a great deal to look forward to this coming pre-election week, with consumer data, housing data, and gross domestic product (GDP) all due out. Of course, there will be plenty of important earnings to pay attention to, with coronavirus vaccine candidates and Big Tech names all announcing quarterly reports. In the meantime, take a look at which sectors contrarians should be targeting right now, as well as the VIX levels to monitor ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

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