U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds meandered on Thursday, swinging between small gains and losses.

On Thursday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) increased 0.1%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was down 0.1% and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) fell 0.1%.

Some continued to find solace in technology stocks, which have outperformed in the post-coronavirus environment.

“Investors are going to be needing stocks that can weather a lower growth path because if we don’t get another round of fiscal stimulus, there’s not going to be a lot more we can do to continue boosting the economic recovery,” Max Gokhman, capital markets strategist at Pacific Life Fund Advisors, told Reuters.

The equity markets have stumbled over the past month as hopes of an economic relief package waned amid signs of faltering business recovery.

“America sneezes and the rest of the world catches a cold: if you’re being told that the world’s largest economy will not recover without stimulus and they can’t agree on a stimulus, then that has to be a negative piece of news,” Tony Yarrow, a multiasset fund manager at Wise Funds, told the Wall Street Journal. “The mood among investors is extremely pessimistic at the moment.”

Meanwhile, volatility remains elevated, with the CBOE volatility index hovering near two-week highs, and it is expected to climb in the weeks ahead as we get closer to the presidential elections.

“The key is the VIX index, which has not yet reached levels that would suggest a continued strong move to the downside,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, told Reuters. “So you might get a day of bargain hunting followed by a day of selling, but as the last days of September come into place, we should begin to see some sort of window dressing by institutions.”

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