Record Coronavirus Cases Hit Wall Street Hard

The Dow logged its worst losing streak since June earlier this week

Assistant Editor
Oct 30, 2020 at 1:12 PM
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It was a bloodbath on Wall Street this week, with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all posting steep losses as coronavirus cases rose to record highs in the U.S. After optimism dwindled early in the week, the definitive lack of a second stimulus before the election weighed on the market as well. By Wednesday, investors became increasingly wary as lockdown restrictions tightened in Europe, and the Dow and S&P 500 posted their worst daily losses since June, with the former nabbing a fourth-straight loss -- its worst losing streak since February. A boost finally came on Thursday, however, in the way of economic data. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) rose at its fastest pace ever to beat analyst expectations, while initial jobless claims came in at 751,000, well below the anticipated 778,000 and its lowest level since March. Unfortunately, that lone bright spot was unable to build momentum to Friday, with all three major indexes falling and heading for weekly losses. 

Tech, Chip Stocks Highlighted

Amid a week of earnings from Big Tech stocks, semiconductor manufacturers have been in focus. Ahead of Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) quarterly report, options bulls weighed in after a Susquehanna price-target hike while sector peers Nvidia (NVDA) and QUALCOMM (QCOM) pulled back to historically bullish trendlines. Meanwhile, one of the new names on Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of highest weekly options volume is Intel (INTC), most likely due to the company's quarterly report. 

Two cybersecurity stocks were worth noting as well. With Zscaler (ZS) seeing long-term success, now looks like a good time to buy the dip. FireEye (FEYE) received a couple price-target hikes citing its future upside as well. 

Stay-At-Home Websites Popular Once More

As many in the country retreat back into stricter social distancing environments and investors eye "at-home" stocks, attention is returning to online shopping/streaming/social media websites. The options pits were more bearish than usual on both eBay stock (EBAY) and Amazon (AMZN) ahead of earnings, though calls still outweighed puts overall. After Pinterest's (PINS) blowout earnings, both options traders and analysts rushed in with bullish sentiment as the stock soared. One stock that had a dismal post-earnings session was Spotify (SPOT), despite the increase in premium subscribers.

The Upcoming Election Week

This coming week, investors will undoubtedly have most of their attention on the Nov. 3 presidential election. However, there is still plenty of economic data to sift through. Manufacturing and employment data will be on deck, while earnings season remains in full swing, leaving plenty of big names slated to report. Meanwhile, take a look at how the market typically performs both before and after election day

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