Wall St Steady After 4 days of Losses 09/22 13:01
Stocks are drifting higher on Wall Street Tuesday, steadying themselves a
day after tumbling amid a raft of worries about the pandemic and governments'
response to it.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are drifting higher on Wall Street Tuesday,
steadying themselves a day after tumbling amid a raft of worries about the
pandemic and governments' response to it.
The S&P 500 was 0.3% higher on the heels of its first four-day losing streak
since the market was selling off in February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 23 points, or 0.1%, at 27,123 as of 12:05 p.m. Eastern time, and the
Nasdaq composite was up 0.5%.
Trading remains erratic, though, and indexes swung from small gains to
losses through the morning. Tech stocks in the S&P 500 bounced between a gain
of 1.1% and a loss of 0.4%, for example.
Wall Street has suddenly lost momentum in September following months of
powerful gains that returned the S&P 500 to a record. A long list of concerns
for investors has caused big swings in the market, from worries that stocks
have grown too expensive to frustration about Congress' refusal so far to
deliver more aid to the struggling economy.
"Right now it's kind of reality is setting in, looking at valuations and
realizing that coronavirus is still prevalent, we don't have a vaccine and we
don't know who's going to be in the White House 2021," said Lindsey Bell, chief
investment strategist at Ally Invest.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pressed Congress to act on additional
aid for the economy during a House of Representatives committee hearing
Tuesday. Extra weekly unemployment benefits and other stimulus that Congress
approved in March have expired, and some areas of the economy have already
slowed as a result.
That support from Congress, along with unprecedented moves by the Federal
Reserve to aid markets, helped halt the S&P 500's nearly 34% plummet earlier
this year. Investors say it's crucial that Congress extended more support, but
partisan disagreements have blocked the efforts.
"I think it is likely that more fiscal support will be needed," Powell said.
The sudden vacancy on the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth
Bader Ginsburg is amping up partisanship across the country, diminishing hopes
Among other concerns for investors are rising tensions between the United
States and China, which could lead to a Chinese retaliation against U.S tech
companies, as well as the upcoming U.S. elections and all the changes in tax
policy and regulations they can create.
All those factors combined to knock the S&P 500 down as much as 2.7% in
Monday's trading. Early in the day, Big Tech stocks were among the weights
pulling the market lower.
They have lost momentum this month on worries their stocks grew too
expensive following a supersonic run through the pandemic. Apple, Amazon and
others have benefited from the pandemic because it's accelerated work-from-home
and other trends that boost their profits.
But tech stocks staged a late-day turnaround on Monday, helping the S&P 500
to more than halve its losses. On Tuesday, Apple was flat while Microsoft was
up 1.1%. Amazon climbed 3.2%.
Stocks of companies whose profits are most closely tied to the strength of
the economy clawed back some of their sharp losses from the day before, but
their movements were also erratic.
Norwegian Cruise Line gave a solid gain and was just 0.4% higher. early gain
and gained was up 0.4% higher. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rose as much as
1.6% in the first 20 minutes of trading, only to give all the gains away.
European stocks recovered some of their steep losses from Monday, which were
triggered in part by worries that stricter restrictions on businesses may be on
the way to stem a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday announced a package of new
restrictions, including requiring pubs and restaurants to close between 10 p.m.
and 5 a.m, but analysts said they were less extreme than some investors worried.
Germany's DAX returned 0.4%, though it's still down 4% for the week so far.
France's CAC 40 fell 0.4%, and the FTSE 100 in London fell 3.7%.
In Asia, South Korea's Kospi fell 2.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1% and
stocks in Shanghai sank 1.3%.
Treasury yields dipped, and the 10-year yield fell to 0.67% from 0.68% late