US stocks started the election week with a bang, as investors looked forward to the end of uncertainty. As the week progressed, Democratic party nominee Joe Biden consolidated his lead, and the Republicans took control of the Senate. The markets responded positively to the developments; even as incumbent President Donald Trump tried to disrupt the process with lawsuits being filed in various states. With the elections drawing to a close, markets remained bullish about a new fiscal stimulus being announced to boost the coronavirus-battered economy.
Wall Street recorded its strongest weekly performance since April despite rising infections in the US and various regions in Europe. Investors ignored the new record high of 121,000 daily cases reported on Thursday.
Although the US elections remained in the limelight for most of the week, the Labor Department’s disappointing NFP (nonfarm payroll) report grabbed attention. The US economy added 638,000 jobs last month, significantly lower than the previous month’s figures.
Performance of US Indices
US stocks closed mostly lower on the last trading day of the week, putting an end to the four-day rally. Despite this downturn, Wall Street notched its best weekly performance since April.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2% to close at 28,323.40 on Friday. The blue-chip index gained 6.9% last week, recording its best week since April 9. Despite losing 1.01 points on Friday, the S&P 500 index closed the week higher by 7.3%. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 4.30 points to settle at 11,895.23 on Friday, recording a 9% surge last week.
Top US Stocks of the Week
Shares of NIO Limited (NYSE NIO) surged 9% on Monday after the company announced the delivery of 5,055 vehicles in October. The stock gained 36% for the week.
Arista Networks, Inc’s (NYSE: ANET) shares climbed more than 15% on Tuesday after the company reported upbeat Q3 results and issued a strong Q4 sales forecast. The stock jumped 26% last week.
Shares of Super Micro Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI) rose 22% on Wednesday after the company reported stronger-than-expected Q1 results and issued an upbeat Q2 forecast. The stock added 23% for the week.
QUALCOMM Incorporated’s (NASDAQ: QCOM) shares jumped around 13% on Thursday after the company reported upbeat quarterly earnings and issued strong Q1 guidance. The stock added around 18% last week.
Shares of Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE) gained around 5% on Thursday following better-than-expected third-quarter results. Expedia’s shares ended the week higher by 10%.
Electronic Arts Inc’s (NASDAQ: EA) stock declined more than 7% on Friday following the release of Q3 results. The stock ended the week lower by 0.5%.
Performance of European Indices
European equities closed mostly lower on Friday, with investors worried about the rise in covid-19 cases in the region. Various European countries reimposed lockdown measures to contain the spread of the virus. The markets were also monitoring the drama surrounding the US Presidential election.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2% on Friday, after recording gains for five straight sessions. The European index notched its best weekly return of 7% since the week ending June 5, 2020.
The German DAX 30 closed the week higher by around 7.8%, while French CAC 40 added 7.5% and the FTSE 100 rose 6.1%.
Top European Stocks of the Week
Shares of Ocado gained around 9% on Monday after the company raised its EBITDA guidance for the year.
Sanofi’s shares added around 4% on Monday after the French healthcare group offered to acquire Kiadis for €308 million.
Shares of Compagnie Financiere-Richemont climbed 8% on Friday after the company reported upbeat results for the first half of the year. The company also disclosed a partnership with Alibaba and Farfetch.
Allianz’s stock gained 1% on Friday after the German company reported growth in Q3 profits.
The Forex Market
The British pound started the week on a downtrend versus the US dollar; but made a U-turn and added gain to move past the 1.30 level. Sentiment for the pound were lifted with the Bank of England raising its bond-buying program by £150 billion. Investors chose to momentarily ignore the rising coronavirus cases in the economy and projections by UK policymakers of an 11% contraction in the economy in 2020, versus the previous forecast of a 9.5% decline. The GBP/USD added around 1.8% last week.
The US dollar moved lower versus the Japanese yen during the week, after climbing past the ¥105 resistance. The pair remained highly volatile last week due to the US election, Fed announcements and rising covid-19 cases. The JPY hit a 9-month high versus the greenback and added more than 1% in the week.
The Crypto Market
Bitcoin climbed past $15,500 last week, reaching its highest price since January 2018. The rally in the crypto king was driven by weakness in the US dollar as markets awaited the outcome of the US presidential election. Bitcoin prices hovered around $15,400 over the weekend.
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