Markets News & Opinions

Dow Holds Firm Following Less Combative Trump-Biden Debate

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose Friday, mirroring a fairly steady pre-market session for U.S. stock futures.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by as much as 73 points Friday.
  • Donald Trump and Joe Biden held their second and final presidential debate Thursday evening.
  • Polling ahead of the Nov. 3 election is narrowing, though Biden still holds a commanding lead in most major surveys.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market advanced Friday, as investors dissected a less combative second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq Rise

All of Wall Street’s major indexes traded in positive territory, mirroring a fairly positive pre-market session for U.S. stock futures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by as much as 73 points before quickly paring gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is holding narrow gains Friday. | Chart: Yahoo Finance

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks rose 0.4%, with most industry verticals reporting gains. Materials stocks were the top performers, followed closely by financials and energy companies.

The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1%.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX edged slightly lower on Friday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday low of 27.28 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average.

Trump and Biden Spar Over Covid-19, Economy

Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden held their second presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, Thursday evening. Both candidates offered opposing views of the Trump administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic as America’s caseload skyrocketed past 8.4 million.

Watch the full presidential debate between Trump and Biden:

Trump defended his administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, stating:

We closed up the greatest economy in the world in order to fight this horrible disease that came from China. We’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away.

Biden, meanwhile, accused the president of misleading Americans on the severity of the crisis:

Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.

The U.S. economy plunged 31.4% annually in the second quarter following nationwide lockdown orders. According to the Atlanta Fed’s latest estimates, GDP growth is forecast to rebound 35.3% in the third quarter.

Public polling continues to favor Biden 11 days before election day, though the lead has narrowed, according to data from Real Clear Politics. The former vice president’s lead is five points in the latest General Election poll by IBD/TIPP.

Sam Bourgi

Financial Editor of, Sam Bourgi has spent the past decade focused on economics, markets, and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE, Yahoo Finance, and Forbes. Sam is based in Ontario, Canada and can be contacted at or at LinkedIn.