U.S Indices got October off to a positive start as traders wait for an announcement on progress with the Stimulus Bill. The NASDAQ led the market with a gain of over 1% while the Dow struggled after the Federal Reserve said it would maintain the current limit on big banks’ dividends and keep their share buybacks on hold until at least next year. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House offered a stimulus deal worth $1.62 trillion versus the GOP’s prior offer for $1.5 trillion. Mnuchin also said the two sides have agreed on direct payments to Americans. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly told colleagues that she’s pessimistic on a deal before the election. In terms of economic data, Jobless Claims fell from the week prior and beat estimates. And Continuing Claims, a measure of those that have filed for unemployment for at least two weeks, fell sharply from the week before. This follows up Wednesday’s ADP Employment Survey, and indicates a continued recovery in the job market. Manufacturing data was mixed, as the ISM Manufacturing Survey missed estimates but final Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI came in above estimates. European Markets gained as European Central Bank Governing Council member Pablo Hernández de Cos said it can still introduce new stimulus measures. Final Euro-Zone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index data for September were unchanged from the initial reading, staying at its highest level in more than two years. Spain’s government said it would impose new restrictions on residents of Madrid, prohibiting them from leaving the city unless necessary, to try and contain the recent Coronavirus resurgence. Elsewhere, Oil fell 3.87% fell as OPEC’s output rose in September, raising concerns of oversupply while Gold closed 0.83% higher on the possibility of more stimulus from the European Central Bank. Overnight, U.S S&P Futures Markets have plunged on news that US president Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19, the president said in a tweet early on Friday morning. The news came after it was announced on Thursday that senior Trump aide Hope Hicks had tested positive. Mr Trump tweeted: “Tonight, FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” The development comes a month before the US election on November 3rd. Mr Trump is now expected to be in quarantine for some two weeks while facing treatment for the disease.
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