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TODAY ON WALL STREET: Stocks down on dashed hopes

10/21/2020 | 08:34am EST

Wall Street is down today, as yesterday’s hopes that an agreement would be found on a fresh stimulus bill collapsed. Republicans and Democrats are still unable to agree on the amount of the envelope.

Nancy Pelosi said that she was still hoping for a positive outcome to the discussions she is holding with Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury. Donald Trump says he is ready for a $2.2 trillion plan, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is asking the president not to reach a pre-election deal with the Democrats for fear of damaging political repercussions for his party.

The election is now 13 days away. Investors are betting on an electoral "blue wave”. Nevertheless, they remain focused on the recovery plan negotiations in Washington, and especially on the probability that it will be negotiated before the elections.

Meanwhile, financial markets are beginning to crumble under corporate publications. Notably Netflix, Texas Instruments and Snap in the United States, and Nestlé, Akzo Nobel, Ericsson or Vivendi in Europe.

Yesterday, the EU's first issue to finance short-time working measures raised 17 billion euros at 10 and 20 years. The demand was overwhelming: 233 billion euros! For bonds "offering" a yield of -0.238% over 10 years and 0.131% over 20 years ( yes, you read that right). In spite of all that we hear, it seems that the EU is going pretty well. All the more so since these securities will sooner or later fall into the ECB's trap and will be virtually safe, i.e. in theory they will present no risk. This partly explains the enthusiasm of investors.

Beyond the funds that they have enabled to drain, these bonds constitute a real evolution towards a form of mutualization of the debt of European countries.

Today on the agenda, we have British inflation and weekly U.S. oil inventories, before the Fed's Beige Book.

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