U.S. stock futures were trading sharply lower this morning on President Trump’s announcement that he tested positive for Covid-19, this coming on a day when the last job report before the election was to be the big news. The Dow was down nearly 400 pts and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were headed for even bigger losses on the open as traders reel on what this means for the upcoming election and the new economic stimulus plan. “Markets (being impersonal) will focus on whether this affects the election outcome or public health policy,” UBS economist Paul Donovan said in a note Friday. ‘The future presidential debates may not happen; these were not seen as especially significant. Those opposed to mask-wearing may revise their views, and the president’s experience may impact US public health policy.”
The Labor Department released this morning that nonfarm payrolls rose by a lower than expected 661,000 and the unemployment rate was listed at 7.9 %, the last number before the election. Projections were a gain of 800,000 and rate of 8.2%. This payroll miss was largely due to a drop in government hiring as home schooling continues.