U.S. stock market has worst day in a month amid election uncertainty

Andrew Cummings
October 28, 2020

The selling in US markets followed broad declines in Europe, where the French president announced tough measures to slow the virus' spread and German officials agreed to impose a four-week partial lockdown.

Of the 170 S&P 500 companies that have reported third-quarter earnings so far, about 84 per cent have topped expectations, according to Refinitiv data. The Nasdaq composite slumped 426.48 points, or 3.7%, to 11,004.87. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, fell 5.4% to $39.12 per barrel.

The S&P 500 is down 74.71 points, or 2.2%.

Wall Street financial district in NY.

UPS fell 5 percent after also reporting better-than-expected earnings, though it said the outlook for its business is too cloudy due to the pandemic to offer any forecasts for its revenue or profits in the current quarter.

General Electric Co jumped 8.6 per cent after it reported a surprise quarterly profit and a positive cash flow on the back of cost cuts and improvements in its power and renewable energy businesses.

Investors' hopes that Congress and the White House could soon offer more big support for the economy as it struggles through the pandemic have largely faded.

"The uncertainty of not knowing the direction we are heading is making investors step on the sidelines and wait for the election results", Hogan said.

Investors are anxious about various potential outcomes: that the election may be contested; a "blue wave" gives Biden a victory and his Democrats control of Congress; or that Trump gets re-elected, said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"There is some renewed election uncertainty and there is an ample basis for buyers to keep to the sidelines, creating lower bids that have the potential to feed even lower prices", said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

"Aid is coming regardless". "I think that's not something people anticipated, I think most people expected it to flatten out". However, the stock dipped 1.9% in pre-market trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng also lost 0.3 percent. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

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