Stocks stumble as political quagmire stalls coronavirus relief

Should you buy stocks or metals at record levels?

Price Futures Group’s Phil Flynn says this is one of the rare opportunities where investors can buy both metals and stocks and still be in good shape since low interest rates and global economic stimulus are supporting both of them.

U.S. equity markets sagged Tuesday as lawmakers wrangle over the next round of economic relief for COVID-19 and investors analyze earnings data showing the pandemic's damage to corporate America.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 111 points, or 0.42 percent while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.24 percent and 0.53 percent, respectively.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES26484-100.77-0.38%
SP500S&P 5003231.77-7.64-0.24%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10483.090916-53.18-0.50%

The $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package put forth by Senate Republicans on Monday evening would reduce the additional $600 weekly payment to unemployed workers to $200 until states are able to work out a plan to cap aid at 70 percent of income received before becoming unemployed. The plan would also extend another $1,200 check to those Americans earning less than $75,000 a year.

Negotiations with House Democrats, who passed a larger relief bill months earlier and criticized the GOP plan as insufficient, are ongoing and a deal isn’t expected to be reached until August.

Looking at stocks, Pfizer and BioNTech have begun a late-stage human trial of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine. The trial, if successful, could move the inoculation toward final regulatory approval as early as October of this year.

Separately, Pfizer, a Dow component, reported earnings and revenue that outpaced estimates and raised its outlook for both measures.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PFEPFIZER INC.38.69+1.15+3.05%
BNTXBIONTECH86.55+0.02+0.02%

McDonald’s, another member of the blue-chip index, said quarterly global same-store sales tanked 23.9 percent as the pandemic shut restaurants, limiting them to drive-thru and delivery, while manufacturing conglomerate 3M’s top- and bottom-line results fell short of expectations.

Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson launched a five-year turnaround plan after COVID-19 caused the company’s quarterly loss to deepen. The plan, dubbed The Hardwire, aims to update the company’s iconic motorcycles in addition to making operational changes and focusing on its parts and accessories and merchandising businesses.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MCDMCDONALD’S CORP.197.31-3.94-1.96%
HOGHARLEY DAVIDSON27.00-2.28-7.79%

JetBlue Airways Corp.’s quarterly loss depended and revenue plunged 90 percent as stay-at-home orders aimed at slowing COVID-19 eliminated non-essential travel, causing the company to ground flights.

Homebuilder D.R. Horton reported record sales as low mortgage rates and limited supply fueled a rush for houses in May and June.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JBLUJETBLUE AIRWAYS10.25+0.03+0.24%
DHID.R. HORTON INC.67.58+1.01+1.52%

Looking at commodities, gold rose $3 to $1,958.40 after reaching a record high of $1,974.70 in overnight trading while West Texas Intermediate crude oil was off 14 cents at $41.46 per barrel.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note holding near 0.6 percent.

European markets were mixed, with France’s CAC down 0.65 percent, Germany’s DAX weaker by 0.34 percent and Britain’s FTSE up 0.03 percent.

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In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.71 percent and 0.69 percent, respectively, while Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.26 percent.

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