Stocks tanked Monday as growing concerns over a surge in coronavirus cases both domestically and globally rattle investor sentiment just eight days before the November presidential election. Hundreds of firms—including tech giants like Amazon and Alphabet—are set to report earnings this week, amid the heightened market volatility, while investors also eye ongoing negotiations in Washington for another stimulus bill.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 650 points, or 2.3%–more than doubling its morning losses, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were down 1.9% and 1.6%, respectively.
Yields on the ten-year Treasury Bond—a bellwether of investor confidence in the equities market—sank about 4% to 0.808% on Monday morning–after seven straight days of gains that pushed the indicator to a four-month high.
Among stocks making big moves Monday morning is Dunkin’ Donuts, whose shares are surging 15% after the New York Times reported that the doughnut maker and coffee giant is in talks to be acquired by a private equity firm for nearly $9 billion–a more than 20% premium to the firm’s closing price on Friday.
Shares of German software giant SAP, on the other hand, are plummeting 23%, after the firm said recently reintroduced coronavirus lockdowns worldwide have forced it to cut revenue projections.
Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, shares of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca are up 2% after the firm reportedly said its Covid-19 vaccine candidate has produced an immune response in adults.
Global markets also took a hit on Monday: France’s CAC 40 fell more than 1%, the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 0.2% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 0.1%.
The ongoing surge in new domestic coronavirus cases–which continue to reach record highs–is rattling investor sentiment as it threatens to hinder an already sluggish economic recovery that Fed Governor Lael Brainard said just last week remains “highly uncertain and highly uneven—with certain sectors and groups experiencing substantial hardship,” adding that another stimulus bill would be “needed” to turn the recovery into a “broad-based and inclusive recovery.” Meanwhile, the stalemate in Washington over stimulus seemingly continues as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as of Sunday, said she’s still waiting to hear back from the White House on a list of remaining disagreements Democrats have with the Trump Administration.
What To Watch For
Amid what could be the height of preelection uncertainty, hundreds of companies–including about one third of S&P 500 firms—are set to report earnings this week, including cloud firm Twilio after the market closes on Monday, biotechs Eli Lilly, Merck and Pfizer on Tuesday, Ford and Boeing on Wednesday and a slew of big tech firms—including Alphabet, Amazon and Twitter—on Thursday.
This week “represents a major week for tech investors as [Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet] earnings on Thursday after the bell will be a seminal night for the Street to digest how these tech stalwarts are faring during this Covid backdrop and semi-lockdown environment,” said a team of Wedbush analysts led by Daniel Ives in a recent note. “The reality is that the strong are getting stronger with FAANG names such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple beneficiaries of the current environment and a dynamic that will be front and center . . . which we believe will put further fuel into the tech rally moving forward into year-end with the elections and a potential Blue Wave creating more volatility over the next month for tech stocks.”
Ant Group, the financial technology arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, plans to raise $34.5 billion when it lists its shares on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges—that would make its initial public offering the largest in history.
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