U.S. stocks turned higher Monday morning after whiplashing earlier in the day as Americans will head to the polls Tuesday for midterm elections to decide which party will control the government after two years of Democratic control of all three branches.
History suggests the party in power may suffer significant losses in the midterms, and decades-high inflation has become a significant issue for the Democrats. Analysts say regional markets may take a wait-and-see approach ahead of the U.S. midterm vote.
U.S. stocks rose Friday but finished the week with losses after the monthly jobs report did little to shift expectations for continued interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve.
Stocks have come under pressure in recent days as central banks including the Fed and the Bank of England aggressively raise interest rates to combat inflation.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled this week that officials might raise borrowing costs next year more than they had projected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.4% for the week, snapping a four-week winning streak, while the S&P 500 fell 3.3%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 5.6% in its worst week since January.
Meanwhile, global stocks mostly advanced Monday as investors weighed uncertainties. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4% to 6,391.90 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX edged up nearly 0.1% to 13,470.68. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose nearly 0.1% to 7,340.85.
The future for the Dow industrials slipped 0.1% while the future for the S&P 500 edged up 0.2%.
China reported its trade shrank in October as global demand weakened and anti-virus controls weighed on domestic consumer spending. Exports declined 0.3% from a year earlier, down from September’s 5.7% growth, the customs agency reported Monday. Imports fell 0.7%, compared with the previous month’s 0.3% expansion.
Economists have been forecasting that the world’s second-largest economy’s trade will slow as global demand cools following interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to rein in surging inflation.
Speculation about a possible relaxation of China’s zero-COVID strategy has had a huge impact on markets.
On Monday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 2.7% to 16,595.91 and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2% to 3,077.85. There has been no official confirmation in China of a major change.
“Over the weekend, Beijing has dashed hopes of China re-opening in the horizon, by reasserting of zero-COVID policies. And this could induce fresh caution,” Tan Boon Heng at Mizuho Bank in Singapore said in a report.
Analysts say regional markets may take a wait-and-see approach ahead of the U.S. midterm vote. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.2% to finish at 27,527.64. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6% to 6,933.70. South Korea’s Kospi gained nearly 1.0% to 2,371.79. Shares rose in Taiwan and but edged lower in India.