US stocks head for 4th straight weekly decline as virus cases spike

NYSE Trader
  • Major US stock indexes traded mixed on Friday and are on track for their fourth straight weekly decline as investors continue to put increased focus on rising COVID-19 cases both overseas and in the US. 
  • Putting additional pressure on equities is the inability of Congress to come together and pass another round of fiscal stimulus prior to the November election.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

Major US stock indexes traded mixed on Friday and are on track for their fourth straight week of declines as investors continue to put increased focus on rising COVID-19 cases both overseas and in the US.

Specifically, a surge in COVID-19 cases in the UK and France suggest a second wave of the virus has arrived for the coming fall season.

On top of that, Congress’ inability to pass additional stimulus measures prior to the November election has put pressure on equities and economic outlook in general.

On Thursday, Goldman Sachs lowered their fourth quarter GDP estimates due to the lack of additional stimulus measures, and JPMorgan followed suit on Friday.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. market open on Friday:

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The surge in virus cases is refocusing investor attention on COVID-19 vaccine stocks. On Friday, Novavax surged after it began a phase 3 trial in the UK to evaluate its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. 

Goldman Sachs said on Friday that a COVID-19 vaccine would help drive a rebound in air travel demand, with many passenger airlines returning to pre-pandemic flight levels in 2023, Goldman estimated.

Despite weak price action in stocks throughout September, the IPO window remains open as Palantir looks to go public next week at a valuation of $22 billion, according to reports.

Gold fell as much as 0.8%, to $1,852.91 per ounce. The precious metal lost its key $1,900 support level earlier this week, and has yet to recover. US treasuries traded mostly flat while the US Dollar traded slightly higher. 

Oil prices were lower on Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.4%, to $39.75 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 1%, to $41.52 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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