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Daily Market Brief

US Stock Halts Rally as COVID Vaccine & Treatment Trials Temporarily Suspended

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US Stock Halts Rally as COVID Vaccine & Treatment Trials Temporarily Suspended

By Strategy Desk

Wall Street took a pause on Tuesday after four straight bullish sessions. Investors are worried that J&J’s vaccine trial halt would delay the introduction of a coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, negotiations over further stimulus went in sleep mode. Still, tech stocks continued the rally, though that didn’t help Nasdaq (-0.10%) avoid a decline.

The S&P 500, which rose about 5% during the previous 4 sessions, declined by 0.63%, and the Dow fell 0.55%.

J&J fell 2% after announcing that it would need a few days to resume its COVID vaccine trial after an unexplained illness in a participant. The positive Q3 reporting didn’t help the pharma giant. The healthcare sector dropped from its all-time high.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t approve Donald Trump’s stimulus proposal. Thus, a deal between Republicans and Democrats looks unlikely before the election scheduled for next month, which puts additional pressure on the economic recovery.

Asian stocks are mostly bearish on vaccine news and US stimulus pessimism. Besides J&J’s trial halt, US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly suspended its coronavirus antibody treatment trial as independent experts expressed concerns over patient safety.

At the time of writing, China’s Shanghai Composite is down 0.59%, and Shenzhen’s SZSE Composite is down 0.78%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 has added 0.14%, reversing some earlier losses.

South Korea’s KOSPI has dropped by 0.95%. The Bank of Korea maintained its key interest rate steady at 0.50% earlier in the day.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is up 0.09%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.27% lower.

In Europe, equities will be mixed on Wednesday. The number of COVID infections continues to accelerate on the continent, forcing authorities to re-impose lockdown measures.

In individual corporate news, Apple presented its new series of iPhones that come with 5G capabilities. The standard iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch display and costs $799. The Pro and Pro Max versions will sell for $999 and from $1,099 to $1,399, respectively. The company’s stock price fell before and after the event.

Amazon rose about 1% as it started Prime Day, which lasts two days this year.

JPMorgan and Citigroup reported on their Q3 performance and beat analysts’ estimates. Still, Citi’s results revealed problems in its consumer bank, which dealt with a drop in clients and spending. Citi stock fell about 4%, and JPMorgan declined by 1.1%.

BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, also reported on its Q3 results, beating analysts’ forecasts for the fifth quarter in a row. The company had about $7.81 trillion in assets under management, up from $7.32 trillion in Q2. BlackRock’s stock price rose about 4%.

In the commodity market, oil prices came back to their bearish stance after rebounding in early trading on Tuesday. Investors are worried that the rising COVID cases across the European continent and the US would affect economic growth and damage oil demand. Yesterday, OPEC said that oil demand in 2021 would increase by 6.54 million barrels per day to 96.84 million bpd, which is 80.000 less than the previous forecast. Both WTI and Brent have declined by about 0.55%.

Gold is leveraging its safe-haven status as stimulus talks show no progress while COVID vaccine and treatment trials are halted due to adverse reactions and safety concerns. The metal rose 0.20%, but it trades below $1,900 after slumping about 2% on Tuesday.

In FX, the USD is also benefiting from its safe-haven status as uncertainty is omnipresent. The USD index is up 0.02% to 93.562. EUR/USD is trading sideways at 1.1744, after declining for two consecutive sessions.

The British pound has dropped about 0.20% against both the USD and the euro amid Brexit talks pessimism and after the government introduced new restrictive measures to curb the second wave of COVID.

 
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