After recording losses for three straight weeks, US stocks started another week on a downturn. Although some positive momentum kicked in later in the week, the rise was not enough to offset the heavy losses. Tech stocks bucked the trend and spiked, helping the Nasdaq end the week with gains.
Investor sentiment was hurt by rising covid-19 cases in Europe, which raised concerns of lockdowns in certain regions of the continent. The US also recorded an increase in infections in some parts of the country. Covid-19 vaccine news grabbed the headlines, with Novavax initiating the Phase 3 study of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, while AstraZeneca awaits permission from the FDA to resume its late-stage trials.
Markets continued waiting for another round of fiscal stimulus from the US government to ease the pandemic-induced blow to the economy. Meanwhile, there was some positive news last week with House Democrats discussing a $2.4 trillion covid-19 package.
Performance of US Indices
US stocks moved higher on Friday, ending another session of volatile trading. Although orders for durable goods rose for the fourth consecutive month, by 0.4% in August, the figure was lower than the consensus estimates of 1.5%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 358.52 points to close at 27,173.96 on Friday. The 30-stock index declined 1.8% last week, following a 0.1% decline in the prior week. The S&P 500 index added 1.6% on Friday, but still closed the week down by 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite Index recorded a weekly gain of 1.1%, ending its three-week losing streak.
Top US Stocks of the Week
Nikola Corporation’s (NASDAQ: NKLA) shares fell more than 19% on Monday after the company announced the departure of Trevor Milton as Executive Chairman. Nikola’s stock lost over 43% last week.
Shares of Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) plunged around 9% on Monday after the company announced plans to acquire GRAIL for $8 billion. For the week, however, the stock gained more than 1%.
Deutsche Bank’s (NYSE: DB) shares lost over 8% on Monday following reports of money laundering by the bank. The stock recorded a 12% decline for the week.
Shares of NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) jumped around 9% on Thursday after the company reported upbeat results for its first quarter.
CarMax, Inc’s (NYSE: KMX) shares plummeted 11% on Thursday following the release of its quarterly results.
Novavax’s (NASDAQ: NVAX) stock climbed around 11% on Friday after the company announced the commencement of final-stage trials for its covid-19 vaccine candidate in the UK. Despite the gains on the last day of trading, the stock ended the week only around 5% higher.
Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) slipped 1.3% on Friday, despite the company surpassing expectations for its fourth quarter. However, the retailer’s shares gained around 2% last week.
Performance of European Indices
European stocks closed lower on Friday, with rising covid-19 cases in the region. The UK and France announced new measures to curb the spread of the virus. Spain faced a massive outbreak in Madrid.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed the week lower by 3.6%, after declining 0.1% on Friday. The FTSE 100 index rose 0.3% on Friday, but ended the week lower by 2.7%. The French CAC 40 tumbled 5%, while the German DAX 30 index lost 4.9% last week.
Top European Stocks of the Week
Shares of United Internet plummeted 24% on Monday after the German firm lowered its outlook.
On Monday, shares of Rolls-Royce slipped about 11% after the company announced plans to raise £2.5 billion.
Shares of various European banks, including ING Group, Deutsche Bank and Lloyds Banking Group, fell on Monday following reports of money laundering.
Shares of Beijer Ref declined around 9% on Wednesday after Carrier cut its stake in the Swedish company.
The Forex Market
The British Pound lost the positive momentum it had garnered in summer and is on course to plunging into the range of 1.2300-1.2700. The return of some restrictions in the UK amid rising covid-19 cases and concerns around Brexit talks weighed heavily on the Sterling. The GBP/USD declined slightly on Friday and closed the week lower by 1.4%.
The USD/JPY slipped slightly earlier in the week, but made a strong comeback, surging above the ¥105 resistance level. Japan’s manufacturing PMI edged lower to 47.3 in September versus a final reading of 47.2 in the previous month. The USD/JPY closed the week with gains of around 1%.
The Crypto Market
The last week proved to be a difficult one for Bitcoin, with the crypto major declining around 5%. Over the weekend, Bitcoin was trading down by around 1% at $10,622, while Ethereum traded close to $350.