Wall Street poised for mixed start as investors fret over Europe’s COVID cases

  • 19 November, 2021
  • 1:06 pm EET

U.S. stock futures were mostly lower on Friday, with the exception of Nasdaq-100 futures, with some citing concerns over a national lockdown to battle COVID-19 announced in Austria.

How are stock-index futures trading?

  • S&P 500 futures, -0.06% slipped 0.2% to 4,688
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures, -0.34% fell 200 points, or 0.5%, to 35,609
  • Nasdaq-100 futures, 0.40% gained 0.2% to 16,515

On Thursday, the Dow closed down 60.10 points, or 0.2%, at 35,870.95, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to end at a record 4,704.54 and the Nasdaq Composite  climbed 0.5% to finish at a record 15,993.

What’s driving the market?

Stock futures had been moving higher, with all three indexes pointing to records, when the Austrian government announced a nationwide lockdown starting Monday for up to 20 days. The lockdown will include both those vaccinated and unvaccinated, with movement for the latter having been restricted over the past week.

As well, Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn reportedly told a news conference on Friday that lockdowns couldn’t be ruled out in his country, with record cases this week in Germany and Austria.

A mixed week for stocks is poised to leave the S&P 500 with a gain of nearly 0.4%, a 0.8% gain for the Nasdaq, while the Dow is down 0.6% in the week to Thursday. Next week will mark the start of the holiday season, with investors off for Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day holiday and a shortened session of trading on Friday.

“Expectations were that interest rates would rise and punish growth stocks more than value stocks from a compression of P/E multiples,” said the founder of asset-management firm Navellier & Associates, Louis Navellier, in a note to clients. “Most likely now is a consolidation phase, with a bias to companies with strong cash flows, and then a sprint by growth names into year-end with a follow-through into traditionally risk-on January.”

“Buy any dip in the next two weeks and be positioned for a bullish couple of months to follow,” advised Navellier.

Economic Data

There are no economic data on the calendar for Friday, though Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida is due to speak. Markets are waiting for President Joe Biden to nominate who will head the central bank after Jerome Powell’s term finishes in February. Markets expect Biden will either renominate Powell or his main rival Lael Brainard, one of the Fed Board governors.

Elsewhere, House Democrats were poised to move Friday on President Joe Biden’s $1.85 trillion social spending agenda, after plans for a Thursday evening vote were delayed by a nearly four-hour speech by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Barbara Kollmeyer

Reliable Trading since 2012