US stocks trade mixed as rising COVID-19 cases weigh on economic recovery prospects

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New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 20, 2018.

US stocks traded mixed Friday as rising COVID-19 cases weigh on economic recovery prospects.

The S&P 500 slipped after the benchmark index closed at an all-time high Thursday as corporate earnings continued to impress investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower while the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 gained slightly.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. open on Friday:

COVID-19 cases are surging in Europe, prompting Austria to announce Friday it will go into full lockdown by next week and introduce mandatory vaccinations. The news has put regional stocks “on the back foot,” strategists at broker IG said in a daily note.

US stocks have climbed steadily as corporate earnings surpass Wall Street’s expectation despite supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. Bond yields staying low have also made stocks more attractive to investors. 

On Friday, the yield on 10-year Treasury fell to 1.522% compared to Thursday’s 1.586%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Also on the the radar is President Joe Biden’s forthcoming announcement of who will lead the Federal Reserve. Biden said he will announce a decision before the Thanksgiving holiday. Incumbent Chair Jerome Powell and Fed Governor Lael Brainard are seen as the two frontrunners.

In cryptocurrencies, the market has lost $500 billion since bitcoin hit an all-time high last week, as investors have cashed in on the recent rally that took it as high as $69,000.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has fallen around 17% from its November 10 record high.

Oil prices fell as the coronavirus surge in Europe raised concerns about economic recovery and as traders weighed the chances of countries releasing strategic reserves.

West Texas Intermediate crude slipped by 2.86% at $76.75 per barrel. Brent, oil’s international benchmark, shed 2.68% at $79.06

Gold fell 0.4% to $1,858.87 per ounce.