Stock Market Today: COVID's Intensifying 'Second Wave' Knocks Stocks Back

Another record high in COVID daily caseloads, as well as spiking hospitalizations and deaths, weighed on stocks Thursday.

Cars wait in line at a COVID-19 drive-up testing station
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The market's early-week euphoria over COVID vaccine progress has mostly run out amid more immediate-term worries about the virus itself.

The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that U.S. caseloads had spiked to yet another all-time high of 145,000. Hospitalizations eclipsed 65,000, and the daily death toll of 1,549 was the highest total since mid-May. New York City restaurants, bars and gyms face new restrictions starting Friday, and Chicago has announced a stay-at-home advisory starting Nov. 16.

The most recent weekly unemployment claims declined from 757,000 to a still-elevated 709,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Kenny Polcari, managing partner of Kace Capital Advisors, adds that "rising COVID-19 cases nationwide and the possibility of additional lockdowns could threaten the jobs recovery we've seen over the past few months."

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.1% to 29,080.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The S&P 500 fell 1.0% to 3,537.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fared a little better, declining 0.7% to 11,709.
  • The small-cap Russell 2000 plunged 1.8% to 1,706.
  • December gold contracts gained 0.6% to $1,873.30 per ounce.
  • U.S. crude oil settled at $41.12 per barrel, a 0.8% decline.

About That Value Rotation ...

Is the "great rotation" into value dead, or merely on pause? Well, many analysts remain confident in a vaccine sparking a switch in market leadership.

"(Vaccine) news, paired with the near-record valuation gap between value and growth stocks, could bode well for a sustained, multi-year rotation toward value outperformance," says Brent Fredberg, director of investments at Brandes Investment Partners.

But the market doesn't move in a straight line, and there's a lot of daylight between where we are now and when a vaccine will be approved and widely distributed. That's valuable time for investors to load up on value stocks if they're still confident in this eventual rotation.

Fund-minded investors can obtain inexpensive and diversified exposure to various value bundles via these seven great value ETFs (opens in new tab). Meanwhile, if you prefer the concentrated oomph of stock picking, you can start with these bargain-priced Dividend Aristocrats (opens in new tab).

But if you're looking for the most revered of value stocks, look for where the bulls are most crowding around. Each of these seven value stocks are cheaper than the broader market, and in most cases, cheaper than the value peer average and/or their sectormates ... and the analyst community is wild about them.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.