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Market Indexes Skid Into the Red

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Market indexes skidded into the close on Wednesday, after a game attempt to continue on the buying mood that had descended on investors at session lows on Monday. Wednesday’s close too the indexes back down to those lows: the Dow was down nearly 2%, or 525 points, the S&P 500 fell 78 points, -2.4% and the Nasdaq, whose tech stocks suffered the brunt of today’s sell-off, fell 330 points, or 3%.

Both the Nasdaq and S&P have finished lower in five of the last six regular trading days; for the Dow, make it four days out of five. As we discuss with regularity here, there’s not much blowing the sails to keep bearish sentiment alive.

Mostly what we’re seeing is a reckoning — of the continued pandemic (now experiencing a “second wave” in Europe but continuing its first wave in the U.S.), a stalling labor market and a hazy outlook of the General Election November 3rd. Basically, we’re giving back much of what we took in August, when most of these challenges were still on the table.

All 11 sectors in the S&P finished lower on the day, led by Tech, Materials and Energy. Healthcare performed best, only down 1%. In fact, the S&P 500 has given back so many of its recent gains that it’s back down to almost break-even on the year. While Nike (NKE - Free Report) rose 8% on its recent quarterly sales and earnings strength, Nikola (NKLA - Free Report) and Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) are currently paying the price for earlier massive run-ups last month, now down 27% and 10% on the day, respectively.

Thursday morning brings us new Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims, as well as August New Home Sales, which reports after the opening bell. On the claims side, 850K new Americans are expected to have filed for unemployment, which continues the slow downward slope of the past several weeks.

New Home Sales are also expected to come in lower than the previous read, to 900K from 901K in July. Earlier this week, Existing Home Sales for last month rose to 6.00 million from 5.86 million the previous month.

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