Stock Indexes Rally Amid Pending Earnings And Covid-19 News

Stocks and index ETFs are mixed to higher on Monday, with the Nasdaq staging a comeback, as investors face mounting coronavirus cases and prepare for a deluge of quarterly results from corporations this week.

While coronavirus cases continue to grow, investors and analysts also concentrated on developments related to Covid-19 vaccine candidates, retain hope that the scientific community will make headway in achieving a breakthrough to stem the pandemic’s growth.

Indexes are mixed Monday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 62 points, or 0.2%, but is attempting to reach breakeven as of 1245pm EST. Meanwhile, the S&P 500  rallied 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 158 points, or 1.6%, attempting to climb back toward last week’s all-time high. The First Trust NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index Fund (QQEW) gained 0.91% as well.

Last week the Dow Jones charted a 2.3% gain, the S&P 500 climbed 1.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 1.1%.

Stock index ETFs are also trading mixed along with their underlying benchmarks. The Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) are positive in early afternoon trade Monday, while the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) is struggling to reach breakeven levels.

Wall Street is commencing a hectic week of corporate earnings announcements, with coronavirus cases and deaths in the country continuing to spread and notch record numbers over the weekend. In earnings news, markets are awaiting Microsoft, Intel, among others to help reveal the state of the economy amid the pandemic.

While other countries have the pandemic more under control, the U.S., by contrast, has 42.95 deaths per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins, and leads the world in overall confirmed cases with nearly 3.8 million and total fatalities of over 140,500 people.

“Those are big, big countries, and they’re faring so much better,” Jim Cramer said, contending their adoption of face masks and development of contact tracing programs have been key reasons for containing the virus. “They’re also disciplined and we’re unruly. This may go down as us being, I’d say, a lesser developed country versus those countries.”

The worsening of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. is squashing hopes for a V-shaped economic recovery, as the virus drains public-health systems and municipalities, and compels local officials to reinstate lockdown measures to curb a more significant outbreak.

“Renewed outbreaks in the U.S. highlight the reality that a return to normal economic activity may be very difficult, if not impossible, without a widely available cure/vaccine. As a result, markets are likely to remain sensitive to developments from this leading vaccine candidate,” said Jason Pride, Chief Investment Officer of Private Wealth at Glenmede.

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