Dow falls 317 points, S&P has broad selloff on COVID-19 concerns

Disney & Cisco earnings on tap

Stocks closed lower across the board Thursday as traders digested comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell who reiterated concerns about the pandemic, despite progress on the vaccine front. This as Chicago became the latest city to toughen up pandemic restrictions.

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POWELL ON PANDEMIC 

"With the virus spreading now it could be a challenging two months," he said during a Q&A session at the European Central Bank Forum.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES30885.76-105.76-0.34%
SP500S&P 5003777.27-18.27-0.48%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX13061.152154-51.49-0.39%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 319 points or 1%, while the S&P 500 also dropped 1%. The Nasdaq Composite, which had been higher on the day, finished off 0.6%.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XLEENERGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF42.93-1.58-3.56%
XLBMATERIALS SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF75.53-0.87-1.14%
VDCVANGUARD WORLD FDS CONSUMER STAPLES ETF170.16-0.65-0.38%

Energy and material shares paced the selloff, while consumer staples fell the least out of the largest S&P groups.

NASDAQ, S&P BOUNCE BACK, DOW DRIFTS ON AMEX WEAKNESS

INITIAL CLAIMS, INFLATION DATA IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Powell's remarks followed initial jobless claims that came in at 709,000, better than the 725,000 analysts were expecting. Continuing claims came in at 6.786 million, also better than the 6.9 million that was expected.

The consumer price index (CPI) for October showed a reading of 0% rise, compared to economists' expectations of a 0.2% rise. Excluding food and energy, the CPI, a closely watched measure of inflation, was also flat month-over-month.

The yield on the 10-Year Treasury settled at 0.88% snapping a four-trading-day winning streak.

Earlier this week, Pfizer and BioNTech announced their vaccine is 90% effective in trials. On Thursday, BioNTech's CEO told FOX Business the vaccine is expected to have longevity in patients.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PFEPFIZER INC.36.72-0.04-0.10%
BNTXBIONTECH SE102.40-3.45-3.26%

BANKS UNDER PRESSURE

Shares of bank stocks were under pressure on Thursday, including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and Bank of America, after the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, flattening the yield curve.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.139.74-1.31-0.93%
CCITIGROUP INC.64.78-4.28-6.20%
BACBANK OF AMERICA CORP.33.06-0.93-2.72%

DISNEY, CISCO EARNINGS ON TAP

While the majority of S&P 500 companies have reported results, there are a few left to shed light on the health of their businesses, including media heavyweight Disney and networking equipment giant Cisco.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DISWALT DISNEY COMPANY171.17-2.45-1.41%
CSCOCISCO SYSTEMS INC.45.51+0.36+0.80%

Both companies will report earnings after the close of trading. Disney will be of particular interest, given its hotel and parks businesses has been severely impacted by the pandemic, resulting in the company furloughing thousands of workers.

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CRUDE CLIMBS

Crude oil continued its march higher, approaching the $42 per barrel level, despite inventories climbing sharply. For the week ending Oct. 31, crude stocks rose 6.786 million, compared to a drawdown of 0.913 million barrels, according to Refinitiv.

GOLD SHINES 

In other commodities, gold rose slightly to $1,872.60 an ounce.

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