Wall Street on track for best week since April – as it happened | Business

All is sedate on Wall Street on this remarkable day, so here’s a quick round-up.

Global stock markets have posted their strongest weekly gains since April, as Joe Biden moves closer and closer to the US presidency.

The S&P 500 index of US companies has put on 7% this week, rebounding strongly from last week’s losses. That’s the strongest rally since markets were recovering from their March plunge:

The S&P 500’s weekly performances this year Photograph: Refinitiv

Investors are welcoming the prospect of some political certainty, after a long and gruelling campaign. Eyes are now turning to the issue of a new fiscal stimulus package.

Oliver Jones, senior markets economist at Capital Economics, told the Guardian:

There’s definitely some relief that things like tougher tax policy, tougher corporate reforms look to be off the table without Democrats having more control over Congress.

“Essentially, it’s going to look more like a continuation of the status quo, which is the outcome favoured by most firms,”

However, the battle for the Senate is not officially over — it could be unresolved until January, if both Georgia seats are decided by a run-off that could result in a 50:50 split.

Control of the Senate would determine the size of the next fiscal stimulus package, and the prospects of tax reforms and regulations on Big Tech

In London, the FTSE 100 has posted its best week since June, ending at a three-week high.

The global rally also pushed Japan’s Nikkei to its highest close in 29 years — since its 1980s asset boom exploded.

The latest US jobs report has shown the challenge facing the White House. Encouragingly, the unemployment rate has fallen sharply to 6.9% last month, with the Non-Farm Payroll jumping by 638,000. But that still means 10 million jobs have still been lost since the pandemic began.

In other news…

More than 860 people have immediately lost their jobs and a further 2,000 roles are at risk after the Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain and the homewares retailer Ponden Home called in administrators.

UK house prices have risen at the fastest annual rate in more than four years in October.

EasyJet is cutting its flight schedule further after the introduction of new lockdown measures in the UK and mainland Europe, and will only run a maximum of 20% of planned flights for the rest of the year.

Stay tuned to our brilliant US Politics Live blog for the latest action in the election – with Joe Biden due to speak later…. GW

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