TODAY ON WALL STREET: Two weeks to go

10/19/2020 | 08:45am

Wall Street is starting the week on a high, boosted by China's economic recovery. However, weighing on investors minds is high Covid-19 cases in Europe, earnings reports, the lack of agreement on fiscal stimulus measures and uncertainty surrounding the presidential election.

With just two weeks left, Donald Trump is focusing his efforts on Swing States by conducting the kind of campaign he likes, but not necessarily the kind he needs, as the New York Times points out in its latest edition. In recent days, there has been a lot of talk about the outgoing president's difficulties in getting his speech across to the elderly and suburban women. Two sections of the electorate that could tip the ballot.

So far, all the polls show Joe Biden as the winner, with a relatively comfortable lead. There is even talk of a blue wave that would quickly guarantee them a parliamentary majority. But as we learned in 2016, polls can be unreliable. All studies show that it is the economic cycles and not the political color of the American President that dictate stock market performance: statistically, a Democratic presidency is even more favorable to stock indexes. Investors are therefore not very worried.

In Europe, the second wave of coronavirus is worrisome, but investors found comfort on Friday at LVMH and Daimler, whose results, while not flamboyant, are showing signs of improvement. They confirm China’s importance to large globalized companies. The country, which seems to have controlled coronavirus more quickly than others, is a quarter ahead of everyone else in terms of economic recovery. After 3.2% growth in the second quarter, Chinese GDP accelerated to 4.9% in the third. This is a little less vigorous than expected, but the slope is clearly reversed.

The publication of Q3 results will once again liven up the stock market this week. Around 20 heavy weights are entering the race, including International Business Machine, The Procter & Gamble, Netflix, Tesla, Nestlé, Intel, The Coca-Cola Company and L'Oréal.

There will be no major indicator today on Western markets. The Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, is scheduled to speak at an event organized by the IMF.

Romain Fournier
© 2020
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