John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended October 9th
The major U.S. stock indexes each rose more than 3%, and the S&P 500 posted its best weekly result in three months. The NASDAQ Composite’s nearly 5% rise was the biggest gain among the indexes, leaving it just 4% shy of the record high it set in early September.
Into the unknown
As third-quarter earnings reports start to come in, an unusually large number of companies remain reluctant to offer financial guidance for their full-year 2020 and 2021 results, owing largely to uncertainty from the pandemic. As of Friday, 147 companies in the S&P 500 that have traditionally issued annual earnings guidance had done so, compared with 138 that hadn’t, according to FactSet.
Market sentiment was boosted by signs that White House officials and congressional leaders were bridging differences on measures to help airlines, small businesses, and households. Though these measures are unlikely to take effect before the election, the resumption of coronavirus relief talks fueled optimism.
The pace of dividend cuts by companies in the S&P 500 slowed considerably in this year’s third quarter. While overall dividend payments in the latest quarter fell by $2.3 billion on a net basis relative to increases, the decline was far smaller than the second quarter’s $42.5 billion drop, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.