The Strategist

US DJIA hits record low as number of COVID-19 infected grows

12/08/2020 - 05:46

On Monday, the American Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell back from last week's record level. Investors are concerned that the increase in Covid-19 morbidity in the US could have a negative impact on economic growth during winter.

The DJIA fell 148.47 points, or 0.5%, to 3,0069.79 points, the S&P 500 dropped 7.16 points, or 0.2%, to 3,691.96 points, while Nasdaq Composite rose 55.71 points, or 0.4%, to 1,2519.95 points, a new record high.

Equity markets reached record highs in recent weeks as economic prospects improved with the development of Covid-19 vaccines. However, the increase in infections and the possibility of their impact on economic recovery are also affecting investor sentiment. On Sunday night, new restrictions were introduced in California to slow down the spread of infection. Before that, the number of people hospitalized in the USA with Covid-19 reached a record high.

"As for the growth in the United States, the vaccine will not have a significant impact on the current third wave," says James McCormick, strategist at NatWest Markets. - The near-term growth outlook for the US economy is clearly deteriorating".

Friday's data showed that job growth in the US slowed down in November. This indicates that the recovery in the labour market is losing momentum amid rising coronavirus cases and new business restrictions. 

"The V-shaped recovery has levelled off somewhat," explained Scott Clemons, senior investment analyst at Brown Brothers Harriman. At the same time, he said, stock indices have been kept close to record highs thanks to investor expectations that the US economy would normalise after the coronavirus vaccine is released.

According to investors, rising infestations and a worsening economic recovery may motivate Congress to adopt a new fiscal stimulus package. An enlarged group of representatives from both parties is trying to agree on aid measures that will support businesses and American families through the end of March. Lawmakers and consultants said on Sunday that they hope to prepare a text earlier this week.