Vaccine, Elections News Guide Tumultuous Week

U.S. economic outlook is murky, according to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell

Assistant Editor
Nov 13, 2020 at 1:53 PM
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Last weekend Former Vice President Joe Biden locked in Pennsylvania, further cementing his path into the White House and allowing him to claim the title of president elect. This, combined with Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech's (BNTX) optimistic data regarding their COVID-19 vaccine, resulted in the Dow and S&P 500 logging record closes on Monday. The optimism poured into the next session, and the major indexes rose as investors ditched stay-at-home stocks in favor of those that would benefit more from the reopening of the economy. 

Meanwhile, things looked up on Wednesday morning, but by the session's end, investors flocking in different directions took a toll, markets ultimately falling. Pessimism prevailed heading into the end of the week, as U.S. President Donald Trump's unwavering determination to not concede, as well as rising COVID-19 infections, continue to lead stocks lower Thursday and Friday. To close out the week, the Dow and S&P 500 indexes are poised for solid weekly gains, despite Federal Chairman Jerome Powell's comments regarding economic outlook

Earnings Still Pouring in, More to Come

We're still in the midst of earnings season, though the plethora of news pouring in may be overshadowing that fact; nevertheless, plenty of exciting reports were dropped. First things first, Party City stock traded at its highest level since September after beating third-quarter forecasts. Simon Property stock, meanwhile, rose despite falling well short of analysts' expectations. Elsewhere, tech names have been making the rounds, and TME is no exception. The China-based media giant notched a loss, its fourth consecutive, despite reporting impressive earnings and revenue data. Coming up, investors have plenty to look forward to, including a report from Macy's (M) just ahead of the holiday season.

Vaccine News Dominates Headlines

Election news aside, the biggest headlines this week came from Pfizer and BioNTech, which made waves after an interim analysis of a phase 3 study showed a 90% efficacy rate in their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. In response to the news, options traders flocked to pharmaceutical stocks in droves, while BNTX notched a fresh, annual high. Moderna (MRNA), a former frontrunner in the race, also announced an update on their vaccine candidate, though the company ultimately failed to provide a date on which it would report the vaccine's effectiveness. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, which boosted at least one blue-chip healthcare stock.

Near Future Murky as Trump Refuses to Concede

We'd love to say the election is in the rearview, but the Trump administration has threatened a litany of litigation to muck up the process of a peaceful transition. So, we'll continue to provide updates as we go. In the meantime, Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White has some stocks to look at, which could benefit from Monday's wild breakout. Looking ahead, next week has a lot to throw at us, with retail earnings and plenty of economic data on deck.

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