Hope all is well with you and your family. The NASDAQ managed to post a small gain, the broader S&P 500 fell for the fourth week in a row―the longest such streak in more than a year. The bulk of the indexes’ weekly losses came on Wednesday, when the NASDAQ dropped 3.0% and the S&P 500 fell 2.4%. With the latest weekly decline, the S&P 500 was down 8% from its early September record high, the NASDAQ was down almost 10% from its peak, and the Dow was 7% below a recent high. The Dow’s record was set in February of this year, when it was 8% above Friday’s closing level. I broke down this week’s market news using quotes from Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland.
"A slow sort of country! …Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” -The Red Queen
The economic recovery seems to be running in place. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress that the U.S. economy has a long way to go before it can fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and he said it needs further support. He noted that employment and overall economic activity remain well below pre-pandemic levels and said that the path ahead “continues to be highly uncertain.”
“Oh, you can’t help that…we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” -The Cheshire Cat
Markets will see the week if Congress can remain focused on getting relief to Americans in need or if they get distracted and descend into partisan bickering over the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Hopes for another congressional relief package were renewed on Thursday as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi changed course and resumed efforts to write a new measure that could serve as the basis for negotiations with the White House.
“Contrariwise,…if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.” -Tweedledee
This week markets will be watching Tuesday evening’s Presidential debate and Friday’s jobs report. Never has there been so much build up to a debate and never have we expected so little in the way of coherent logical thought from either of the debate participants. The winner will likely be judged on who makes the fewest mistakes as opposed to who articulates the best ideas. While the debate may move markets the monthly labor market update likely will. It will be the final jobs report before the U.S. election. The new release will show whether September’s recovery of nearly 1.4 million new jobs extended into October.
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