Friday September 25th

25-09-2020

Dow futures drop 130 points as Wall Street heads for fourth straight weekly loss

U.S. stock index futures were lower early Friday as the market indexes headed for a fourth consecutive week of losses. Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 136 points, or 0.5%. S&P 500 dropped 0.4% and Nasdaq 100 futures were flat. For the week, the Dow entered Friday’s session down 3% while the S&P 500 has lost 2.2%. The Nasdaq Composite is down 1.1% week to date. Wall Street was coming off a choppy session in which the major averages eked out small gains as major tech shares saw broad gains. That outperformance for the tech-heavy index is a reversal from earlier during this market pullback. The major averages have had a tough month, with the S&P 500 falling more than 7% in September. The Dow has dropped 5.7% over that time period and the Nasdaq is down 9.4% month to date. Much of September’s losses have been concentrated in mega-cap tech stocks, which carry a heavy weight in the indexes. Shares of Apple rose 1% on Thursday but were still down more than 19% from their recent closing high on Sept. 1. Russ Koesterich, managing director and portfolio manager at BlackRock, said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that his team took profits in some high-flying tech stocks at the end of August and then were buying more cyclical stocks during the recent drop for the market.  “What we’ve been trying to do in recent weeks is take the cyclical exposure up a little bit ... it’s not that we think tech is going to roll over. We still like the themes. But on a shorter-term tactical basis, we’re comfortable with the economy, we think we’re going to continue to see improvement, and we’re looking for names that are levered to that improvement,” Koesterich said. The state of the economic recovery has become a hot topic in recent weeks on Wall Street, especially after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg led many strategists to downgrade the chances for another relief package before the election. On Thursday, Goldman Sachs cut its fourth-quarter projection for gross domestic product growth to 3% on an annualized basis, down from 6%. House Democrats are preparing a $2.4 trillion relief package that they could vote on as soon as next week, a source familiar with the plans told CNBC. The bill would include enhanced unemployment benefits and aid to airlines, but the overall price tag remains well above what Republican leaders have said they are willing to spend. Hong Kong-listed shares of China Evergrande Group plunged in a mixed trading day for Asia-Pacific markets on Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.32% to close at 23,235.42. Mainland Chinese stocks were also lower on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.12% to about 3,219.42 while the Shenzhen component was below the flatline at around 12,814.17. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.51% to close at 23,204.62 while the Topix index added 0.48% to end its trading day at 1,634.23. South Korea's Kospi also advanced 0.27% to 2,278.79. Oil prices fell on Friday and were set for a weekly decline due to mounting worries about the impact on fuel demand of a widespread resurgence in coronavirus infections, as well as some concern about the likely return of exports from Libya. Brent crude was down 23 cents at $41.71 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude fell 38 cents to $39.91. Gold prices ticked up on Friday as investors took advantage of an easing dollar to buy the metal after a steep sell-off sent bullion to a near two-month low in the last session and set it on track for its biggest weekly fall in six. Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,869.79 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,875.00.