Equity markets finished the week at similar levels week on week. Currently the market is concerned about the inability of US politicians to reach an agreement about the next round of stimulus as US unemployment benefits are due to expire tomorrow.
The new fiscal stimulus bill, which needs agreement from the Democrats, will include a proposed new round of cheques for $1200 sent directly to certain households according to some sources.
In COVID-19 news, US new cases remain very high (new daily cases haven't been below 60,000 in a fortnight) but are showing tentative signs of stabilising.
There are also concerns about a second wave in Spain, particularly in the region of Catalonia.
Catalonia's regional government said it would close all nightclubs for two weeks while the UK said it would require all visitors to Spain to self-isolate for 14 days on return.
Meanwhile, the Australian state of Victoria reported 459 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, its second-highest daily total.
The city is almost half way through a six-week lockdown.
As mentioned previously, reporting season has begun, with a number of key US companies reporting over the week. Schlumberger Limited is one of the world's leading oilfield services companies, providing technology for reservoir characterisation, drilling, production and processing.
The company reported revenue decreased 28 per cent quarter on quarter, below expectations.
This is possibly because of the reduction in oil demand and price. Low prices will be a continued risk for this company.
Microsoft Corporation also reported.
Market expectations were high, with the share price having rallied 29pc in the past quarter.
Microsoft is one of the world's largest software companies, with a broad range of offerings across cloud computing, enterprise infrastructure software, business productivity applications, gaming, and hardware.
The company reported revenue of $38 billion, up 13pc year on year, which is remarkable considering the current economic environment.
The company's share price fell about 9pc in the next day's trading.
This most likely reflected disappointment the growth of Microsoft's cloud computing business decelerated to 47pc year on year from a prior quarter growth of 59pc year on year.
- This article does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. Before acting on any advice contained in this article, you should assess whether it is appropriate in light of your own financial circumstances or contact your financial adviser. Christopher Hindmarsh is an adviser at JBWere.
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