(DAILY NOTION): A Subdued Day on Wall Street as Optimism Dips, Next Mover: Biden Stimulus Package

Verified Official

NASDAQ 100 (as of Feb 19, 2021 at 11.45 a.m.)

Source: Yahoo Finance

SPX 500 (as of Feb 19, 2021 at 11.45 a.m.)

Source: Yahoo Finance

US30 (as of Feb 19, 2021 at 11.45 a.m.)

Source: Yahoo Finance

It was a subdued day on Wall Street as the NAS100 closed 0.72% lower, the SPX500 dipped 0.44%, and the US30 lost 0.38%. The lacklustre performance from both the SPX500 and NAS100 were due to shares of Apple Inc, Tesla, and Facebook Inc. The latest earnings reports from Walmart, which reported that they do not foresee sales growing in the next 12 months, also weighed in on the market.

Despite the positive retail sales data from earlier this week and vaccination progress, the recent initial jobless claims results dampened the sense of optimism as it rose to 861,000, which marked a 13,000 increase from the previous week. suggested that the rise in consumer spending of stimulus cheques were covering a weakness in the labour market, which is a sentiment also echoed by U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) officials recently. The Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) reported on Feb 18 that there are still 10 million unemployed workers, which was a result of businesses having to halt operations during the lockdowns.

Furthermore, the latest U.S. housing starts reported its first decline in five months, when it dropped 6.0%. Meanwhile, hopes would most likely be pinned on the successful rolling out of the Biden Stimulus Package as a measure to drive economic recovery.

Newly appointed U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has been very vocal in expressing her views that a large stimulus package is very much needed to restore the strength of the U.S. economy.

On Feb 17, Reuters reported that the proposed Covid-19 relief package would be one of the largest stimulus measures ever passed by Congress. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures, and it cannot be denied that the present state of the global economy is unprecedented. Furthermore, there is anxiety over the discovery of new variants in society that could unravel vaccination progress.

However, cautions from Republicans leaders over the size of the package and its impact on the U.S. debt levels, already close to $27 trillion, should not be taken lightly, either.

As the U.S. lawmakers battle this matter out, let us watch how Wall Street wraps up this week.

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