Friday, October 30, 2020

Stocks pare gain as tech drops on big options day

Oct 17. 2020
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Rita Nazareth, Claire Ballentine · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS

Stocks pared gains as giant technology companies dropped, tempering optimism with better-than estimated economic data.

The S&P 500 came off session highs and the Nasdaq 100 fell amid Friday's expiration of equity options. Amazon.com Inc. slumped after Citigroup Inc. said its statement on a recent sales event lacked something that has been seen in past years: A "biggest day ever" notation. Boeing Co. rallied as Europe's regulator said the 737 Max plane may return to the region's skies by year-end. Pfizer Inc. jumped after saying it could seek emergency-use authorization for its covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. by late November if the shot is shown to be effective.

Earlier Friday, equities rallied as U.S. retail sales rose in September at the fastest pace in three months, while consumer sentiment ticked up in early October. Meanwhile, manufacturing production unexpectedly declined last month. The figures underscore the uneven pace of the economic rebound that's being threatened by a new acceleration in coronavirus infections and Congress's failure to agree on a fresh stimulus package.

"It's encouraging we are seeing people willing to spend," said Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist for Charles Schwab, adding that the concern is "if we don't get a stimulus deal, how much longer can that be sustained?"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democratic colleagues that a divide persists with the White House over a number of components of the fiscal stimulus she's attempting to negotiate, even as an agreement nears on a coronavirus testing program. President Donald Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow said in an interview with Fox Business Network it will be difficult for lawmakers to "execute" a relief package before the Nov. 3 election.

Investors also monitored negotiations between Britain and the European Union, which are set to continue next week even after Boris Johnson said he believes a trade deal is now unlikely.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

- The S&P 500 was little changed as of 3:54 p.m. EDT.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 1.3%.

- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1%.

Currencies

- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.

- The euro advanced 0.1% to $1.172.

- The British pound climbed 0.1% to $1.2922.

- The Japanese yen was little changed at 105.40 per dollar.

Bonds

- The yield on 10-year Treasurys gained one basis point to 0.74%.

- Britain's 10-year yield advanced less than one basis point to 0.182%.

- Germany's 10-year yield dipped one basis point to -0.62%.

Commodities

- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.1% to $40.91 a barrel.

- Gold lost 0.3% to $1,902.22 an ounce.

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