Stocks Head Into Weekend Mixed…..

The U.S. equity markets finished mixed, for the session and on a weekly basis, as investors eyed reports of worsening COVID-19 trends across the pond. Meanwhile, the markets continued to grapple with inflation pressures amid the supply chain and labor challenges, and monetary policy uncertainty. As earnings season heads towards its conclusion, Workday, Intuit, and Ross Stores reported results that topped expectations, while Applied Materials, despite strong revenue, missed on both the top and bottom lines, citing supply-chain constraints. News out of Washington was again in focus, as the House narrowly passed President Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending bill, sending it to the Senate. Treasuries were higher, putting downward pressure on yields, and the U.S. dollar gained ground, while gold finished to the downside and crude oil prices were sharply lower. Europe retreated from early gains to finish lower across the board after the increase in COVID-19 infections forced additional restrictions and lockdowns in the region, while markets in Asia were mixed as tech shares in Hong Kong declined.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 269 points (0.8%) to 35,602, the S&P 500 Index shed 7 points (0.1%) to 4,698, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 64 points (0.4%) to 16,057. In moderately-heavy volume, 4.2 billion shares of NYSE-listed stocks were traded, and 4.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil tumbled $2.47 to $75.94 per barrel. Elsewhere, the gold spot price lost $12.80 to $1,848.60 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.5% higher at 96.03. Markets were mixed for the week, as the DJIA declined 1.4%, while the S&P 500 nudged 0.3% higher, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.2%.

As the Q3 earnings season is heading toward the finish line with 95% of S&P 500 companies turning in their results, and per data compiled by Bloomberg, of the 475 S&P 500 companies that have reported thus far, roughly 68% have topped revenue forecasts and nearly 82% have bested profit projections. Compared to last year, sales growth has been approximately 18% higher and earnings are up about 41%.

As the calendar was free from major economic releases in the U.S. today, investors eyed the worsening COVID-19 trends and related restrictions in Europe and their potential economic impact. Meanwhile, events in Washington were also in focus, as the House passed President Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending package by a narrow margin. The bill now moves to the Senate, where many believe it is set to see revisions in the coming weeks.

Treasuries were mostly higher, as the yield on the 2-year note was flat at 0.50%, while the yield on the 10-year note lost 5 basis points (bps) to 1.54%, and the 30-year bond decreased 7 bps to 1.91%.

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