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S&P Posts Longest Losing Streak in 36 Years

The New York stock exchangeThe New York stock exchange

US equities closed lower on Friday after the release of key employment data while investors braced themselves for the election next week.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended about 40 points lower, with Procter & Gamble contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 fell nearly 0.2% and extended its losing streak to nine sessions, with consumer staples leading decliners. The S&P’s losing streak is the longest in almost 36 years. During that streak, the index has fallen nearly 3%, CNBC reported.

The Nasdaq composite fell about a quarter of a percent. The three major indexes all posted weekly losses.

“Nobody wants to do anything today. ... Everybody is on hold for Tuesday,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. “I think next week you’ll start seeing Wall Street coronate winners and losers. What I mean is you’re going to start seeing investors switching sectors very quickly.”

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, rose 3.76% to trade near 22.9. The so-called fear gauge is also up more than 40% this week.

The race between Republican Donald Trump and his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton, has become tighter since last week, when the FBI said it was investigating new emails related to Clinton. According to data from RealClearPolitics, the average spread between Clinton and trump is now just 1.7 points in a four-way race, down from about 5 points last week.

“The market is pricing in a Hillary Clinton victory, but it’s also been pricing in a split ticket, with Clinton taking the White House and a split in Congress,” said Tom Siomades, head of Hartford Funds Investment Consulting Group.

“It seems like the market is obsessed with the election,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors, adding that price movements around an election are “very much a short-term thing.”

On the data front, jobs in the US grew by 161,000 last month, while economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of 175,000. The unemployment rate stood at 4.9%—in line with expectations—as investors got to digest the final payrolls report before Tuesday’s presidential election.

But the bigger number in the report could be wages, with average hourly earnings climbing 10 cents and reflecting a 2.8% annualized increase, according to the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Investors have been paying even more attention to US economic data as they try to determine the likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising rates.

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