Wall Street started the week with massive losses as coronavirus cases spiked in the US and Europe. Investor sentiment remained tepid as various European countries reinforced lockdown measures, fueling concerns over a slowdown in the rebound of the global economy.
The week also ended on a downbeat note with major tech companies reporting earnings after the closing bell on Thursday. Although the MAGA companies (Microsoft, Apple, Google parent Alphabet and Amazon) and social media giants Facebook and Twitter reported upbeat earnings for the latest quarter, their growth outlook disappointed investors and kept the pressure on their stocks.
Meanwhile, investors remained in a sluggish mood ahead of the US Presidential elections. With polls supporting a win for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, investors remained concerned about the tax policies that could follow.
Performance of US Indices
US stocks closed lower on Friday, continuing the negative trend for the week despite consumer sentiment hitting its highest level since March. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was revised higher to 81.8 in October. Meanwhile, the Chicago PMI moved lower to 61.1 in October, from 62.4 in September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.59% to close at 26,501.60 on Friday, recording a 6.5% decline for the week. The blue-chip index recorded its worst week since May. The S&P 500 index shed 1.21% on Friday and closed the week lower by 5.6%. Following the disappointing outlook by big tech companies, the Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 2.45% to close at 10,911.59 on Friday.
Top US Stocks of the Week
Shares of Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) gained over 22% on Tuesday after the company reported strong Q3 results. The stock added 9% for the week.
Pinterest, Inc’s (NYSE: PINS) shares jumped around 27% on Thursday after the company reported upbeat Q3 results. The stock climbed 11% for the week.
Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) plummeted 5.6% on Friday after the company reported disappointed iPhone sales due to late release of its new iPhone 12. Shares of the iPhone maker fell over 5% last week.
Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) fell 5.5% on Friday despite the company reporting better-than-expected sales and earnings for the latest quarter.
Facebook, Inc’s (NASDAQ: FB) stock slid 6.3% on Friday after the company projected a slowdown in user growth for the fourth quarter. Although the company reported upbeat Q3 results, its stock tumbled around 8% last week.
Shares of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) gained 3.8% on Friday after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for the third quarter. The stock still lost 1% for the week.
Twitter, Inc’s (NYSE: TWTR) shares fell 21.1% on Friday after the social-networking firm reported the smallest growth in daily active users since 2017. Twitter’s stock tumbled 18% last week.
Performance of European Indices
European markets closed mixed on Friday following upbeat economic reports from the region. However, concerns over coronavirus-related restrictions kept investors on edge. Global covid-19 cases surged by around half a million on Thursday, representing the highest single-day spike.
Eurozone recorded faster GDP growth than expected for the third quarter, with the economy expanding by 12.7%. This followed an 11.8% economic contraction in the previous quarter.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2% on Friday, but recorded losses of 5.6% for the week. The German DAX 30 slipped 0.4% on Friday, closing the week lower by more than 8.6%. The French CAC 40 added 0.5% on Friday but posted losses of 6.4% for the week, while FTSE 100 declined 4.8% last week.
Top European Stocks of the Week
Shares of Credit Suisse fell around 6% on Thursday after the Swiss lender reported a 38% decline in net profits for the third quarter.
Royal Dutch’s shares climbed about 4% on Thursday after the oil major posted upbeat earnings for the third quarter and announced plans to lift its dividend payment.
Shares of Nokia plunged around 18% on Thursday after the Finnish telecoms giant lowered its outlook for 2020.
Ubisoft’s stock dipped more than 7% on Friday after the French company reported results for the first half of the year.
Shares of Proximus gained around 8% on Friday after the Belgian company reported better-than-projected profits for the third quarter and raised its guidance.
The Forex Market
The euro declined versus the US dollar last week, as the shared currency was hurt by a resurgence of covid-19 cases in the European countries. Despite releasing strong preliminary GDP growth, the EUR/USD fell around 1.4% last week.
The USD/CAD gained around 1.5% last week as the record rise in infections boosted safe-haven investing. Canada’s higher-than-expected GDP growth also provided support to the loonie on Friday, with the economy expanding 1.2% in August, exceeding the consensus view of 0.9%.
The Crypto Market
Bitcoin recorded its second-strongest monthly rise in October, racing past the $14,000 mark on the last day of the month to climb to a three-year high.
The weekend session witnessed some profit-taking, with the cryptocurrency king declining to around $13,650.