stocks

Stock Market Today: Bearish Tone Remains as COVID Picture Worsens

America's seven-day average of new cases hit a new high, and with stimulus still in limbo, investors saw little to get cheery about Tuesday.

The broader markets managed to at least avoid another debacle like yesterday's, but stocks still struggled Tuesday as bullish catalysts remained scarce.

The U.S. logged a fresh high for seven-day average new COVID-19 cases, continuing worries that coronavirus will drag on the economy further this winter. Meanwhile, hopes for new stimulus continued to fade as negotiators in Washington remained mum.

"We think the ability to get stimulus done is fading each day as we get closer to the U.S. election," says Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management, who adds that we "are reminded that volatility is expected to stay as uncertainties surrounding the path of the virus and the outcome of the election continue to weigh on investors' minds."

Also of note was a mega-deal in the semiconductor space: Xilinx (XLNX, +8.6%) agreed to a $35 billion buyout offer from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, -4.1%). Shareholders in the latter took some profits following a nearly 80% year-to-date return, but analysts still appear upbeat about both the deal and the stock's longer-term prospects.

"We positively view the announced acquisition of Xilinx this morning, as it brings together complementary product offerings and increases its addressable market. We see significant share gain on the horizon within its server business, with considerable interest for its next-generation Milan server processors set to begin volume shipments in early '21," writes CFRA Research's Angelo Zino, who rates AMD shares at Buy and upgraded his 12-month price target from $90 per share to $100.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.8% to finish at 27,463.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The S&P 500 lost 0.3% to 3,390.
  • The Nasdaq Composite improved by 0.6% to 11,431
  • The small-cap Russell 2000 finished 0.9% lower to 1,590.
  • Caterpillar (CAT, -3.1%) dropped after reporting lower equipment demand for the third quarter, which led to a 54% decline in profits.
  • 3M (MMM, -3.1%) had a much better earnings outing, topping profit and sales estimates, but got caught up in Tuesday's downdraft nonetheless.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) shares were up slightly in Tuesday after-hours trading after announcing Street-beating earnings ($1.82 per share) and revenues ($37.2 billion).

Check out more earnings previews and estimates at our weekly earnings calendar.

Are You Excited About Tomorrow? Should You Be?

Tomorrow is the best day of the year ... statistically speaking.

Since 1950, the S&P 500 has enjoyed average daily returns of 0.54% on Oct. 28, making it the stock market's most fruitful day. That's according to LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick, who quips, "Maybe because it is my birthday, or perhaps it is simply random."

Here's a more in-depth look, via LPL's Chart of the Day:

While we (and Detrick) discourage investors from investing based on one day's historical performance, some gutsier investors have already been placing bets on a single day's historical importance.

That's Election Day, of course.

Presidential elections are something of a mixed bag for the broader stock market, but presidential policies can mean a great deal to certain industries, which has played out recently as so-called Biden stocks have outperformed Trump stocks as the former has maintained a wide lead in many national polls. So we've recently re-examined and added a few additional ideas to our presidential picks -- you can check out 13 stocks that could surge during a Joe Biden presidency, and 13 plays for another four years of President Donald Trump.

Regardless of the result, Trump has at least two more months to cement (or change) his position on the Mount Rushmore of market-friendly leaders: our list of the best and worst presidents by stock-market returns.

Most Popular

Planning to Sell Your Home in Retirement? Downsize Costs Along With Space
Budgeting

Planning to Sell Your Home in Retirement? Downsize Costs Along With Space

In this hot real estate market, consider the costs of buying and selling a house along with the expenses associated with your new digs.
November 13, 2020
What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration
Politics

What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration

The Kiplinger Letter forecasts President-Elect Joe Biden’s biggest priorities -- and the likelihood of progress on them.
November 19, 2020
The 13 Best Healthcare Stocks to Buy for 2021
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

The 13 Best Healthcare Stocks to Buy for 2021

Most of the best healthcare stocks for 2021 will have some sort of ties to COVID, whether it's producing a vaccine or cure, or benefiting from the vir…
November 20, 2020

Recommended

Stock Market Today 12/1/20: Wall Street Hangs on Stimulus Hopes Again
stocks

Stock Market Today 12/1/20: Wall Street Hangs on Stimulus Hopes Again

A stimulus package brought by a group of nonpartisan senators Tuesday sparked stocks, which kept most of their gains even after the plan was shot down…
December 1, 2020
Stock Market Today 11/30/20: Dow Closes Out Best Month Since 1987
stocks

Stock Market Today 11/30/20: Dow Closes Out Best Month Since 1987

The major indices dipped Monday despite more positive COVID vaccine news, but the Dow nonetheless capped its best single-month performance in 33 years…
November 30, 2020
25 Stocks That Billionaires Sold in Q3 2020
Investor Psychology

25 Stocks That Billionaires Sold in Q3 2020

Billionaires and high-asset hedge funds dumped a number of holdings during 2020's third quarter. We look at which stocks they've soured on, and why.
November 30, 2020
Stock Market Today 11/27/20: Nasdaq Notches Another High as COVID's Spread Worsens
stocks

Stock Market Today 11/27/20: Nasdaq Notches Another High as COVID's Spread Worsens

An error in AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial and persistent coronavirus troubles in the U.S. led investors to chase the old COVID trade Friday.
November 29, 2020