By Medha Singh and Susan Mathew (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes gave back some of this week’s sharp gains on Friday as investors awaited the outcome of a nail-biting election, while the monthly payrolls report underlined the economic challenge facing America’s next president. Democrat Joe Biden took the lead over President Donald Trump in […]
Wall Street dips as Biden edges closer to victory
By Medha Singh and Susan Mathew
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes gave back some of this week’s sharp gains on Friday as investors awaited the outcome of a nail-biting election, while the monthly payrolls report underlined the economic challenge facing America’s next president.
Democrat Joe Biden took the lead over President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia, putting him on the verge of winning the White House hours after Trump falsely claimed the election was being “stolen” from him.
“Markets have been pretty comfortable with that idea (of a Biden win), but if it’s contested, it adds a little bit of uncertainty,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Even with these states being really close, we might have to go back and recount so we’re in for a long period of uncertainty.”
Despite Friday’s losses, the benchmark S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq were on track for their best week since April as the prospect of a policy gridlock in Washington eased worries about tighter regulations on U.S. companies.
Republicans could keep control of the U.S. Senate pending the outcome of four undecided Senate races and they would likely block large parts of Biden’s legislative agenda, including expanding healthcare and fighting climate change.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department’s closely-watched report showed U.S. employers hired the fewest workers in five months in October in the absence of new fiscal stimulus and as daily COVID-19 infections set new records in the United States.
At 10:11 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.28%, the S&P 500 was down 0.24%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.74%.
Technology mega-caps including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc fell after logging strong gains this week and were among the biggest drags on the benchmark S&P 500.
The Russell 1000 value index outperformed Wall Street with slight gains in early trading, while the Russell 1000 growth index dropped 1%.
Coty Inc jumped 14.4% as the cosmetics maker beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue, while T-Mobile US Inc gained 5.7% after adding more phone subscribers than analysts had expected in the third quarter.
Electronic Arts Inc slumped 10.6% after the video game maker fell short of quarterly sales estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1.05-to-1 on the NYSE, while declining issues outnumbered advancers 1.59-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 31 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 79 new highs and 15 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Bernard Orr, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila)