U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds tried to find a stable footing Wednesday after a record increase in coronavirus cases across six states caused investors to take pause.
On Wednesday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 1.0%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) gained 0.3%, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) rose 0.4%.
The equity market swung between gains and losses Wednesday after a three-day winning streak in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona, Florida, and Oklahoma, Reuters reports.
“The market got ahead of itself based on the Fed stimulus,” Matt Peden, chief investment officer at GuideStone Capital Management, told Reuters. “There could be further consolidation in the marketplace, that would be healthy, and would bring stocks closer to a more rational valuation level.”
The markets have enjoyed a risk-on rally after encouraging economic data from strong employment numbers following the reopening of businesses, along with aggressive fiscal and monetary policy measures to prop up the economy.
However, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned on Tuesday that a full recovery will take a while and will be unlikely until the public is confident that the disease is contained.
“Today’s markets are really just catching their breath after a big three-day winning streak that we’re on,” Ryan Detrick, a senior market strategist at LPL Financial, told the Wall Street Journal. “There is a continued back and forth over just how strong this recovery is…and it’s going to come to a head here eventually.”
The S&P 500 now trades around 3% below its all-time closing high from February, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 1% below its record close.
“Certainly the next phase is not going to be as straightforward or as easy as the leg we’ve just had” with the stock market’s rally, Derek Halpenny, head of research for global markets in the European region for MUFG Bank, told the WSJ. “Now the equity market is going to be a bit more unpredictable.”
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