A totally wild wide for Wall Street Friday as investors had to sort through President Trump coming down with COVID-19, a marked slowdown in hiring, and optimism surrounding a deal for an economic stimulus package.
After falling more than 400 points during the session and then bouncing into the green, The Dow settled with a 134-point loss. The S&P 500 lost 32 points. The Nasdaq got hammered - tumbling 251 points.
Salem Abraham, president at Abraham Trading Company, is worried...
"Certainly the big news is the president and first lady being positive, testing positive for COVID. And, you know, The unknown now is how sick might really the president get? And what does that mean going into the election. And I think we've got to be careful here with going into this election. I'm concerned going into the election the next month - what happens."
The final government jobs report before the November elections was a somber one. Hiring was slashed in September - coming in at a weaker-than-expected 661,000. Just as troubling, the number of Americans listed as permanently unemployed rose last month to nearly 4 million. The closely-watched unemployment rate, which is compiled using a different method, dropped to 7.9 percent. One economist pointed out: that is the highest jobless rate for any president seeking re-election. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush - the two presidents with the previous highest unemployment rates - both lost their re-election campaigns.
The jobs slowdown, however, might light a fire under stimulus talks in Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said an agreement on a deal to provide another $25 billion in aid for the struggling airline sector was "imminent." As for a broader deal, Pelosi said negotiations continue but there were still significant disagreements with The White House.
Airline stocks swept higher Friday on stimulus hopes. American, JetBlue, Delta and Southwest led the rally.