Stocks were higher in early trading Thursday, putting the market on track to break a seven-day losing streak, but the gains were modest as investors remain transfixed on the potential outcome of next week’s presidential election.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,995 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,101 and the Nasdaq composite fell less than a point to 5,104.
ELECTION JITTERS: With five days left until the election, Hillary Clinton maintains a lead in polling in the U.S. presidential race but Donald Trump has narrowed the gap. Investors generally favor a Clinton victory as she is seen as maintaining the status quo. Trump’s policies are less clear, and the uncertainty has caused jitters in financial markets.
POUND UP: The battered British pound jumped 1.5 percent to $1.24 after a court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must hold a vote in parliament over leaving the European Union. May had maintained that the government could give the EU notice it is leaving without such a vote, after voters chose the “leave” option in a referendum in June.
A vote in parliament was seen as making it less likely that the government would wind up with a “hard” exit involving loss of access to tariff-free business with the EU, which is the country’s largest trading partner. The government can appeal the court decision.
OUT OF SHAPE: Fitbit, the maker of wearable fitness trackers and other devices, plunged $3.79, or 30 percent, to $9.01 after the company slashed its outlook for the year, citing weak demand for its products. The company also cut its sales forecast for the holiday shopping season.
UN-LIKED: Facebook fell $6.50, or 5 percent, to $120.65. While the company reported third quarter results that easily exceeded analysts’ estimates, it also acknowledged that growth in advertising revenue was slowing.
ENERGY: The price of crude oil extended a losing streak into a fifth day. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 2 cents to $45.32 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, was unchanged at $46.86 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.82 percent from 1.80 percent a day earlier. In currency trading, the dollar fell to 103.25 yen from 103.28 yen, while the euro dipped to $1.1062 from $1.1096 the day before.