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S&P 500 Closes In On New Record High, But Dow Falls Nearly 100 Points

TOPLINE

The stock market was mixed on Monday, as the S&P 500 once again failed to set a new record high despite ongoing uncertainty from stalled coronavirus stimulus talks and U.S.-China tensions.

KEY FACTS

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3%, nearly 100 points, on Monday, while the S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1%.

The S&P closed at 3,382, just short of closing above its previous all-time high of 3,386.15 set back in February.

With U.S. lawmakers stuck in a “stalemate” over the provisions of the next coronavirus stimulus bill, it could take weeks for an agreement to be reached, as Congress has now adjourned until September.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that she is calling the House back into session amid concerns from Democrats that the Trump Administration is trying to undermine the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the election. 

Sentiment was also kept in check by ongoing U.S.-China tensions: Top trade officials were scheduled to review the terms of the phase on trade deal on Saturday, but that has now been delayed indefinitely, according to Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, raised its 2020 year-end price target for the S&P 500 to 3,600, implying an upside of 7% from current levels.

Crucial quote

“While recent Covid-19 stimulus efforts have stalled in Congress, there are a lot of things that could go right on this front and that’s what is moderating selling pressure across stocks,” says Marc Chaikin, founder of quantitative investment firm Chaikin Analytics. “Additional Covid-19 stimulus could take shape as part of a resolution to the Post Office standoff.”

Tangent

Popular stock trading app Robinhood announced yet another new round of funding—its third major cash injection in the last four months—at a valuation of $11.2 billion, amid record numbers of new customers and speculation that the company could IPO later this year.

Key background

All three major averages finished higher last week, with the S&P climbing 0.6%, the Dow 1.8% and the Nasdaq 0.1%. If the S&P does reach a new record high, it would be the index’s fastest recovery from a 30% drop in its history, according to data compiled by Ned Davis Research.

What to watch for

A handful of major retailers report second-quarter earnings this week, including Home Depot, Walmart and Kohl’s on Tuesday and Lowe’s and Target on Wednesday.

Further reading

Stocks Close Flat, S&P 500 Fails To Hit New Record High (Forbes)

Three ‘Big-Impact’ Surprises That Could Slam Stocks, According To Bank Of America (Forbes)

Stocks Fall As Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Stuck In A ‘Stalemate’ (Forbes)

Goldman Predicts ‘At Least One’ Vaccine Approval Before The End Of 2020, Raises GDP Estimate (Forbes)

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