Presidential Debate Live Updates: Key Investing Takeaways

Stock Market

That’s it, folks! The final presidential debate of 2020 is in the books, as both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have made their cases to the American public. Learn how both candidates’ policies could affect your investments by reading our real-time analysis in its entirety below:

Latest Updates:

That’s a Wrap!

[Thursday, October 22, 10:43 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has come to an end. Here are the top takeaways:

  • Both candidates did a better job — driven on by the moderator — of clarifying their policy stances. Tonight we gained more insight into some of the specific policy changes we could see over the next four years. If anything, that should help investors sleep at night.
  • At this point, there is no denying that climate-related stocks will present a MASSIVE opportunity if Biden wins.
  • It is also clear that a vaccine is coming — and potentially soon. Trump named the usual vaccine race leaders like Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) as companies to watch. However, with his hint that European developers are also in the running, CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC) could see a boost in attention.
  • Drugmakers Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) and Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) should also continue to see a boost.
  • Foreign policy will be tricky. Investors should be wary of foreign equities — particularly those that call Russia or China home. In the past, we have explored how this could make names like red-hot minerals company Norilsk Nickel (OTCMKTS:NILSY) a risky bet.
  • This geopolitical tension has also proven that defense stocks will be election-proof plays. Everyone will want to feel safe, regardless of how the president views our international rivals.

A Focus on Clean Energy

[Thursday, October 22, 10:40 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Biden promised to level the playing field between oil & gas producers and clean energy.

Without implicit subsidies from federal land fracking, fossil fuel costs could go up in the short term. Longer term, it could mean better investment in renewables.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump will likely continue his administration’s helping hand with traditional energy sources. This won’t necessarily help oil and gas profits, but it would certainly help consumers in the short run.

Leadership and Reaching Across the Divide

[Thursday, October 22, 10:37 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

Like the vice presidential debates, this debate closes on a question of what the candidates would say during their inaugural address to Americans who did not vote for them.

Less than what the candidates say, it’s striking how different Biden’s meticulous response feels from the President’s off the cuff style, and how much more coherent this debate was compared to the first presidential debate.

Biden: ‘I have never said I oppose fracking’

[Thursday, October 22, 10:34 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

Joe Biden doubles down on sentiment from the Vice Presidential debates, saying he “[does] rule out banning fracking.”

President Trump continues to emphasize economic gains under his administration while downplaying the rollback of environmental regulations. Biden explains the concept of “fencelines,” responding to the question asked of President Trump to highlight how his counterpart ignored it.

Biden does, however, say he would transition away from the oil industry, which the President calls “a big statement.” Biden says “we have to move toward net zero emissions.”

8 Companies to Buy as Biden Tackles Climate Change

[Thursday, October 22, 10:30 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

President Donald Trump says he cares about clean air and water, but there is really no denying that former Vice President Joe Biden has a much more robust plan when it comes to tackling climate change.

Tonight, he reiterated his promise to invest $2 trillion in clean energy initiatives. He has also promised to create 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations on U.S. highways. Backing this up, Biden says that economists are on his side. They think his plan will create 7 million more jobs than a jobs-focused proposal from Trump.

What this really means for investors is that already hot stocks could see a serious rush thanks to federal support. More jobs, more charging stations, more incentives to switch to renewable energy. Talk about a serious rally that would support the greening of Wall Street.

David Kass, a clinical professor of finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business agrees. This is what he told InvestorPlace:

“Assuming Joe Biden is elected and the Democrats have a majority in both houses of Congress, then investments in infrastructure stocks (or infrastructure ETFs) should receive a high priority. Climate related opportunities in solar and wind power, batteries for electric vehicles, and electric vehicle manufacturers should be explored.”

Here are eight of the best stocks to buy for such a clean future:

  •  Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)
  • Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS)
  • Fisker (NYSE:SPAQ)
  • QuantumScape (NYSE:KCAC)
  • Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK)
  • Switchback Energy Acquisition (NYSE:SBE)

This Election, It’s a Fight Over Personality

[Thursday, October 22, 10:28 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

In the middle of a heated debate over foreign policy and race, Biden stopped, looked at the camera, and said what voters have known for months: it’s a fight over personality.

The final presidential debate has been light on policy and far more about the two politicians’ characters.

From an economic standpoint, this still matters. Trump’s presidency has been tit-for-tat, particularly with foreign policy.

The Republican President has walked out of agreements, such as the Paris Accord and the Iran Nuclear Deal. And it’s been more about a sense of fairness than practicality.

On the other hand, Biden has proven himself far more of a pragmatist, long saying he would rejoin the Paris Accord among other international agreements.

Expect similar moves from either a second Trump presidency or a Biden one.

Ecology and the Economy

[Thursday, October 22, 10:28 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

After a glaring omission of environmental topics at the first presidential debate, ecological questions get their time in the sun. President Trump says the U.S. has the “best carbon emissions” we’ve seen in years without hurting our industry.

Biden says climate change is a “global, existential threat,” saying he has brought in both green activists and labor advocates to support his environmental plans, aiming to create “millions of jobs” in order to “clean the environment.”

Biden also says that beyond climate policy, Wall Street sees him as better for the economy and employment than President Trump.

Tesla Stock Could Hit $1,000 Thanks to Clean Energy Initiatives

[Thursday, October 22, 10:25 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Climate change is once again a topic at the debate. While former Vice President Joe Biden has expansive plans to boost clean energy initiatives, check out this take from InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango. He thinks that the clean energy — including solar and battery — businesses at Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) could soon see shares hit $1,000.

3 Stocks to Buy Now to Invest in Racial Justice

[Thursday, October 22, 10:21 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Former Vice President Joe Biden is leaning into his newest stance on racial justice.

In the past, he has danced around the topic. More progressive lawmakers in the Democratic party want to defund or abolish the police. Instead of backing that, Biden has used a narrative that says there are bad apples in the police force, and that traditional reform measures could improve the situation. But we saw something really interesting develop during his town hall event last week.

Building on his calls to reform the police, he has also said that he plans to invest in Black Americans to improve their generational wealth, including measures to further fund historically Black colleges and universities. According to The Motley Fool, one of the best things investors can do is start to think about what a future filled with justice would look like — and how you can invest in that now.

As you start to consider Biden’s propositions, here are three stocks to get you started:

  • Nike (NYSE:NKE)
  • Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)
  • UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH).

“I am the least racist person in this room”

[Thursday, October 22, 10:19 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

The candidates are asked if they understand why people of color fear for their children in America. Joe Biden says there is systemic racism in America, highlighting how Black parents need to prepare their children to interact with the police.

President Donald Trump emphasizes Biden’s role in the passage of the 1994 Crime Bill and compares himself to President Abraham Lincoln. Trump also highlights his gestures toward criminal justice reform.

After a brief segue to discuss the “laptop from hell,” the President says he is the least racist person in the room. Biden replies that Trump is a “dogwhistle big as a fog horn”

7 Pro-Immigration Companies Betting on Biden

[Thursday, October 22, 10:11 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden can not find any common ground on immigration. Detention centers. Children separated from their families. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Things are getting heated.

However, there is a real investing takeaway in this broader conversation over immigration. As the United States lowered the number of visas issued for skilled workers amid the novel coronavirus, businesses in cities like New York started to struggle. When Trump threatened further restrictions, even more businesses, even big-name companies like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), spoke up.

The reality is that many of these companies rely on immigrants — and they are rooting for a Biden victory come November. You can read more about this angle in our election analysis blog, but these are seven stocks that could thrive if Biden wins:

  • New Oriental Education & Technology Group (NYSE:EDU)
  • Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE:MAA)
  • Western Union (NYSE:WU)
  • MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI)
  • International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)
  • Corteva (NYSE:CTVA)

How Do the Candidates Differ on Immigration?

[Thursday, October 22, 10:11 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Moderator Kristen Welker focused the conversation on recent news reports that immigration lawyers can’t find the parents of over five hundred migrant children.

The two candidates’ responses were telling.

On the one hand, Trump blamed “coyotes” and “bad people” who brought them over, as well as Obama’s administration’s failure to act.

On the other hand, Biden conceded that Obama’s administration took too long and promised faster action.

Throughout the campaign, Biden has been far more retrospective over past policies, amending them as time goes on. Many have applauded his pragmatist approach — one that’s likely to remain in a Biden presidency.

Meanwhile, Trump has mostly pushed back and offloaded blame on others. While the strategy has energized his base, it’s made it far harder for Donald Trump to reach independent voters this election.

545 Children With Parents We Can’t Find

[Thursday, October 22, 10:10 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

Let’s take a quick look at U.S. border policy during the novel coronavirus pandemic via headlines:

$15 Minimum Wage

[Thursday, October 22, 10:04 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

I’m old enough to remember labor activists advocating for the $15 minimum wage during the first Obama term, so it’s not like Joe Biden is a pro-worker radical for making it a part of his 2020 platform.

That being said, President Trump makes sure to emphasize the impact this could have on small businesses, a strong rebuttal given the decimation wrought by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

7 Airline Stocks to Buy on Stimulus Talks

[Thursday, October 22, 10:01 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, we said that President Donald Trump is a wild card when it comes to novel coronavirus stimulus measures. Tonight, he says that he is ready and willing to sign such a relief bill into law. The issue? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to deliver such a stimulus package.

That does not necessarily line up with history. Pelosi, Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue to debate over the next stimulus package. This week, a deadline to reach a negotiation came and went. Just today, the consensus was that Republicans and Democrats are closer than before but still divided on several key measures. One area that has been particularly contentious has been the issue of relief funding for states and hard-hit localities.

However, investors may take Trump’s enthusiasm for a stimulus bill tonight as a sign Mnuchin will make something work with Pelosi. In that case, one sector on Wall Street that could see a particular boost is the airline sector. Why? Although airline traffic has been rising since March — recently hitting a pandemic record — it is still down from pre-pandemic days. Companies have said that they need further federal support to avoid massive layoffs.

If we do see a deal go through, these seven stocks will benefit:

  • American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL)
  • United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL)
  • Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL)
  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
  • JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU)
  • Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK)
  • Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE)

Formal Request for a Second Stimulus Check

[Thursday, October 22, 10:01 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

President Trump says the efforts to pass another round of economic stimulus have failed because of Democrats like Nancy Pelosi. Joe Biden responds that Senator Mitch McConnell has said they would not pass a bill if it passed the house, saying the President should get Republicans in line. The President says if the Democrats bring a deal, the GOP will pass it.

If you’ve read any coverage of the HEROES Act since the summer, you’ve already seen this argument play out talking point for talking point. Anyway, here’s hoping.

The Spectre of Socialism Is Haunting CNN

[Thursday, October 22, 9:57 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

Biden is asked whether “Bidencare” would be a step toward a world where the U.S. government runs all healthcare. President Trump criticizes Senator Kamala Harris for being “more liberal than Bernie Sanders.”

The framing of this question naturally lent itself to President Trump critiquing Biden as a perceived “leftist.” Biden responds by saying he’s not his former competitors from the Democratic Caucuses, saying he beat those people because he disagrees with them, while highlighting Trump’s cuts to Social Security.

Trump Punts on ACA Reform. Biden Doubles Down

[Thursday, October 22, 9:57 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

What would happen to 20 million Americans who lose their healthcare?

Donald Trump continued to send a muddled message on a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if the Supreme Court strikes it down.

“I want to come up with beautiful healthcare,” Trump said, offering no further details on what his plan would entail.

Biden went into greater detail on “Bidencare,” which would include a public option. Anyone qualifying for Medicaid would automatically qualify for healthcare.

Many pundits have worried that Bidencare could either increase federal debts by $800 billion over ten years or increase taxes. But at least it’s a plan.

GoodRx Could Be the Best Stock to Buy for Healthcare Reform

[Thursday, October 22, 9:54 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

InvestorPlace contributor David Moadel said it best:

“If there’s anything that could use a major change, it’s America’s health care system. This is particularly true during the age of Covid-19. Thankfully, GoodRx Co-CEO and cofounder Doug Hirsch is prepared to transform at least one aspect of American health care.”

Recent IPO GoodRx (NASDAQ:GDRX) represents what many investors see as the future of healthcare. It makes information on prescription drugs more accessible — and it also helps consumers find the best places to purchase those drugs at the best prices.

While President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden continue to duke it out over healthcare, the easiest path forward for Wall Street could be investing in GDRX stock.

For more, read Moadel’s coverage on GoodRx here.


[Thursday, October 22, 9:52 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

This week President Trump hit yet another pivot, saying his administration did, in fact, want to overturn the Affordable Care Act. This is among the most important cases at the heart of the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, making for a salient point of contention.

The President says that removing the ACA will put more money in people’s pockets. Biden says he would like to expand Obamacare by adding a public option and emphasizing the need to reduce insurance premiums and drug prices.

3 Defense Stocks to Buy for Tense Geopolitics

[Thursday, October 22, 9:49 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Although President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have very different stances on foreign policy, one thing has become clear during the presidential debate. There is a handful of nations that has the intelligence community — and Wall Street — feeling uneasy.

Whether it is Biden criticizing Trump for his relationships with Russia, or Trump criticizing Biden for his relationships with China, investors should note that the future for Russian and Chinese equities may not be a smooth one. Additionally, Biden and Trump are butting heads over North Korea.

Underneath all of this is the reality that geopolitics are destabilizing around the world. Countries are upping their defense budgets, investing in new military capabilities. Sweden just announced plans to increase its military budget by more than 40% in response to Russian threats. Similarly, Ireland, which has historically been a neutral country, is also considering massively upgrading its air capabilities.

For investors, this means that defense stocks should be high on your radar. Whether the next four years brings new military conflict, there are a series of flashpoints that are in focus. What will China do with the South China Sea? How will Iran and the U.S. continue to navigate their relationship?

It is hard to answer those questions. It isn’t hard to pick the top defense stocks. Start with these three recommendations from InvestorPlace’s Muslim Farooque:

  • Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)
  • Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)
  • ManTech International (NASDAQ:MANT)

Mr. Biden Talks Tough on China

[Thursday, October 22, 9:45 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Joe Biden said he would make China play by international rules.

In reality, a President Biden would likely maintain many of Donald Trump’s current tariffs on China. The WTO has already ruled against the U.S. on several taxes the Trump administration imposed on China. And leaving much of the rulings in legal limbo would play well as bargaining chips for future U.S. negotiations.

Expect Hardline Negotiations With China No Matter Who Wins

[Thursday, October 22, 9:45 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

The debate moves to focus on China, with moderator Kristen Welker asking if Biden would “make China pay” for the coronavirus.

Notably, Biden classifies Chinese Premiere Xi Jinping as a “thug” like North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, a much more aggressive stance than counterpart Senator Kamala Harris struck in the vice-presidential debates. He also emphasizes that the national deficit to China has grown under Trump.

President Trump emphasizes the virus’s origins in China and critiques Biden’s foreign policy history as Vice President.

Donald’s Taxes and Joe’s Son

[Thursday, October 22, 9:39 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

“I prepaid millions of dollars in taxes,” President Donald Trump said.

The President’s tax returns have been a point of contention for years. Biden highlights that the President has never released them, despite pressure that preceded the 2016 election.

The President characterizes that pressure as a “witch hunt,” saying if he spent $1 million he could dig up dirt on Biden. This segues into a conversation about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China and Ukraine.

Microsoft Stock Could Be the Best Buy for Election Security

[Thursday, October 22, 9:36 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We are once again back to the idea of election interference. This topic is particularly relevant — top intelligence officials confirmed just last night that both Russia and Iran have already gained access to 2020 election data.

Unsurprisingly, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are pointing fingers at each other. Trump says Biden and former President Barack Obama made it easy for Russia to invade Ukraine. Biden says Trump has questionable relationships with Russia, China and Iran. Also unsurprisingly, the question of tax returns is back on the table.

Pushing through the partisan jabs, investors should understand that election security is a really important topic. Any guarantee that we can have an honest and fair election will soothe Wall Street — and the average American voter. Because of this, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) may very well be one of the best stocks to buy ahead of the election.

Why? Earlier in October, the company announced that it was working with intelligence officials to fight election interference. Through a partnership with other businesses, Microsoft led a takedown attack against Trickbot, a malicious software that powers a global network of infected computers. These computers then facilitate all sorts of attacks — including ones on local and state agencies that could compromise results on Election Day.

MSFT stock already jumped on the news, but it could benefit further if investors feel Election Day goes off without a hitch. Peace of mind really is priceless.

Election Interference and Foreign Affairs

[Thursday, October 22, 9:32 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

Joe Biden gets first bat at a question regarding potential foreign meddling by Russia and Iran in American elections. He emphasizes President Trump’s cozy relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, as well as taking a sly potshot at Trump associate Rudy Giuliani.

Responding to the same question, the President says “there has been nobody tougher on Russia than Donald Trump.” He takes the opportunity to pivot to rumors of Biden receiving foreign money.

Biden takes the opportunity to turn that around on the President, highlighting Trump’s withheld tax reports and hammering him on his financial involvements in China.

‘A disaster’ … ‘Idiots’… So Who Are You Listening to, Mr. Trump?

[Thursday, October 22, 9:30 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Moderator Kristen Welker asked Trump a pointed question about his handling of advisors and coronavirus advice.

Trump offered a scattershot answer, claiming Fauci had offered conflicting advice regarding mask-wearing.

The back-and-forth at the White House has been apparent from conflicting guidelines at the FDA and CDC. It’s confused both consumers and companies, with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) now taking a step back with their coronavirus vaccine timelines.

The Restaurant Reality: 6 Election-Proof Stocks to Buy

[Thursday, October 22, 9:29 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden battle it out over decisions to reopen or return to shutdowns, an interesting narrative is emerging.

Biden focuses on states like New York. Streets may be empty he says, but the infection curve for the novel coronavirus is lowering. Trump says the economy is more important, citing issues that businesses, particularly restaurants, face with new pandemic measures. For example, he said that installing plexiglass barriers and enforcing social distancing have become costly.

This is certainly true — several restaurants are struggling to meet pre-pandemic levels.

While we know that some restaurant stocks have found success amid the pandemic, especially those that have digital-savvy business models, not all have been so lucky. That means regardless of who wins in November, investors should be very careful when approaching the sector. These top restaurant stocks could hold up during another round of lockdowns, but they could also thrive in a reopened world.

Here are some of the best restaurant stocks to buy regardless of Election Day outcomes:

  • Chipotle (NYSE:CMG)
  • Domino’s (NYSE:DPZ)
  • Papa John’s (NASDAQ:PZZA)
  • Wingstop (NADSAQ:WING)
  • Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN)
  • Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)

‘Americans don’t panic. He panicked’

[Thursday, October 22, 9:27 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

President Trump is asked about his personal criticisms of Dr. Anthony Fauci; he highlights how Dr. Fauci initially advised against wearing face masks.

Joe Biden asks viewers to think about what President Trump knew at the start of the year and didn’t tell us, bringing up how the President knew it was a dangerous, airborne virus but didn’t want to alarm the American people.

‘Do you want to respond to that, Mr. Biden?’

[Thursday, October 22, 9:24 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

“No,” Joe Biden responded, closing off Trump’s line of coronavirus questioning.

As Mr. Trump continued to contest the former Vice President’s stance on closing U.S. borders with China, Mr. Biden turned attention to the President’s own handling of the situation.

Will a Biden presidency mean more shutdowns? Mr. Biden largely skirted answering the question, saying that time (and science) would tell.

‘We have to open our country’

[Thursday, October 22, 9:24 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

This is quickly becoming the President’s catchphrase for the night. The question of when and how to reopen the economy, and whether it is truly safe to do so, is naturally front of mind for investors.

Biden outlines that we need to mitigate the virus in order to support a healthy recovery. He also takes the President to task for going after Democratic governors, saying there are spikes in a number of Red states across the U.S.

3 Stay-at-Home Stocks to Buy for a Biden Victory

[Thursday, October 22, 9:21 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not ruling out another round of shutdowns.

As he delivers that message during the presidential debate, New York and New Jersey are enforcing new travel advisories. Ireland has returned to a full-blown lockdown. Other cities in Europe are bringing in the military to enforce curfews and stay-at-home orders.

Trying to soften the blow, Biden said he is not thinking about shutting down the country, but instead shutting down the novel coronavirus. For investors, that might be the same thing.

Even without a Biden victory, many on Wall Street are once again considering stay-at-home stocks. Why? The second wave of the coronavirus is ramping up, regular flu season is starting and colder weather will mean more Americans will be stuck inside. While some have been enjoying outdoor, socially distanced activities since March, chilly winter months could bring that to a halt.

That means despite the intentions of Trump to push forward with reopening, stay-at-home stocks could very well be election-proof buys. Start with these three recommendations from InvestorPlace’s Muslim Farooque.

  • Shopify (NYSE:SHOP)
  • PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL)
  • Quidel (NASDAQ:QDEL)

Trump: ‘We Have a Vaccine… It’s Ready’

[Thursday, October 22, 9:20 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

President Donald Trump opened statements talking about an upcoming “therapeutic” for the vaccine, likely referring to the Gilead (NASDAQ:GLD) drug remdesivir.

The drug was recently green-lighted by the FDA, a controversial move given a major WHO study that found no efficacy for the drug.

Pushed by the moderator, Trump walked back some of his statements that a vaccine (not just a therapeutic) could be ready in several weeks.

Chinese Relations and Congressional Tensions

[Thursday, October 22, 9:19 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

Coronavirus naturally dominates the opening of the debate, with the candidates rehashing the past 7 months of the pandemic. Joe Biden hammers President Trump’s record, though he notably says the President’s decision to close borders to China wasn’t xenophobic.

The President criticizes both Biden and Senator Nancy Pelosi for being “slow to react” to the pandemic, saying they didn’t support the lockdowns in the spring.

Joe Biden Responds and Vaccines Are Discussed

[Thursday, October 22, 9:14 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

“Two hundred and twenty thousand dead Americans.”

Joe Biden comes out of the gate swinging, emphasizing the sheer human toll of the pandemic and the administration’s failures, saying the President had, and has, “no plan.”

A brief discussion of vaccine timelines yields company namedrops from the President, but Biden says even with a vaccine, the lack of planning by the administration is catastrophic.

6 Vaccine Stocks to Buy on Trump’s Coronavirus Promises

[Thursday, October 22, 9:13 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

President Donald Trump is kicking off the debate with big promises. In just a few weeks, he says he will be unveiling early approval for a novel coronavirus vaccine and begin rolling it out to the American public. At the heart of this announcement is one program — Operation Warp Speed.

Importantly, Trump is not naming the specific company, but he did give some hints. Beyond the names he listed explicitly as examples, he also said the U.S. is working closely with Europe on other candidates. That suggests that German darling CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC) could be in the running.

We also know that a handful of companies are farther ahead in the race. These companies have started Phase 3 clinical trials, and some have even completed enrollment in these final studies. In fact, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) announced that it had reached this milestone earlier today. While anything at this point is speculation ahead of an announcement from Trump and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these leaders are the companies you should be pursuing.

Right now, that leaves us with these six names:

  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
  • AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)
  • Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)
  • BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX)
  • Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)
  • CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC)

Procedural Jabs & Opening Remarks From the President

[Thursday, October 22, 9:09 pm]
Contributed by Vivian Medithi

The debate opens with moderator Kristen Welker emphasizing that candidates’ mics will be muted when their opponent has the floor; Former Vice President Joe Biden flashes a big grin.

President Donald Trump responds to a question of how he would handle the next phase of the pandemic by emphasizing previous projections of 2.2 million Americans dead, and says that we’re rounding the corner. He naturally makes sure to emphasize his recent bout with Covid-19.

4 Trump-Backed Law Enforcement Stocks to Buy

[Thursday, October 22, 6:25 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Astute voters might have noticed that we have some repeat debate themes on the agenda for tonight. Climate change, the novel coronavirus and race are all once again topics of discussion. We have already heard President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden duke it out over these topics, but there is a new angle for investors to consider.

Just hours before the last presidential debate begins, CNBC broke some interesting news. Biden continues to maintain his lead in pretty much every poll — and he is even winning in the swing states. However, compared to weeks past, his lead is narrowing.

Does this mean Trump has a shot at reelection?

In recent weeks, Wall Street has gone all in on Biden. Solar stocks, electric car stocks, battery stocks. All have been hot because they will benefit from a $2 trillion investment in clean energy. However, that narrowing lead is a tricky thing to consider.

Tonight, with the topic of race — and likely police brutality and criminal justice — back on the agenda, Trump could make another appeal to his law-and-order voters. During the Republican National Convention and the first debate, he leaned into this approach, promising a safer U.S. under his lead. With that in mind, so-called law enforcement stocks could be big winners.

InvestorPlace’s Chris Markoch agrees. Here are four on his radar:

  • Axon Enterprises (NASDAQ:AAXN)
  • Digital Ally (NASDAQ:DGLY)
  • ShotSpotter (NASDAQ:SSTI)
  • Wrap Technologies (NASDAQ:WRTC)

One more note: Biden is not inherently bad for these law enforcement stocks to buy. In fact, during his town hall event last week, he took a rather moderate approach on issues of police brutality. Instead of backing progressive calls to defund or abolish the police, he focused on general reforms. While this may disappoint his voter base, it could protect Markoch’s recommendations.

Will Gilead Stock Pop More After the Debate?

[Thursday, October 22, 5:42 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Like clockwork, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) received some amazing news just before the last presidential debate. Its remdesivir drug for the novel coronavirus became the first and only such treatment to receive full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Here is everything investors need to know ahead of the debate:

  • Gilead introduced remdesivir earlier on in the pandemic, after repurposing its malaria drug.
  • It has largely been a part of standard coronavirus care, protected under an emergency-use authorization from the FDA.
  • Thursday afternoon, the FDA granted it full approval. The regulatory agency says it improves time to recovery in hospitalized patients by five days.
  • Importantly, President Donald Trump also received remdesivir while he was at Walter Reed Medical Center.
  • Remdesivir now goes under the commercial name Veklury.
  • For more, read the brief on Gilead stock here.

Trump Takes Aim at Big Tech Ahead of Debate

[Thursday, October 22, 4:40 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Leading up to the last presidential debate, President Donald Trump once again took a stab at Big Tech. His message? Trump is not just running against former Vice President Joe Biden. He is also running against mega-cap tech companies.

Why does this really matter? Well, Biden himself is not too hot on the likes of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), nor are any lawmakers. Over the summer a series of hotly anticipated antitrust hearings showed us just that. Republicans think that these companies, especially those with a hand in social media, are censoring conservative viewpoints. For a while, Trump and his supporters were focused squarely against Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), instead advertising for the Parler platform.

But Democrats also take issues with the size and dealmaking behaviors at the FAANG names. Their concerns? Some are worried about monopolistic behavior, citing issues with the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store, search results Google and accusations by third-party sellers against Amazon. Making matters worse, a series of boycotts against Facebook this summer did not appear to have much of an impact against the platform. As a result, lawmakers are worried that it is too powerful of a player in the advertising ecosystem, meaning that no actions against it could dent its success.

Although these Big Tech leaders have been some of the most stable names during the pandemic, they have stumbled in recent weeks. It is unlikely we will have a future without Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) or Amazon, but it is something for astute investors to keep on their radar.

3 Things to Watch Ahead of the Presidential Debate

[Thursday, October 22, 4:31 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the pressure is on. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face off once more tonight, providing one last change to throw real-time partisan jabs and clarify their party policies. Hopefully with new rules from the Commission on Presidential Debates it is a little easier to follow, but InvestorPlace has you covered no matter what.

Ahead of the debate, here are three key things you should have on your radar:

The Novel Coronavirus: As we have been covering in our daily coronavirus blog, the situation with the second wave continues to worsen. Other countries around the world, including Ireland, have returned to full lockdown. New York and New Jersey have issued travel advisories. More importantly for tonight, we are almost at the end of October, and we have not heard anything else from Trump about early coronavirus vaccine approval.

That means tonight, a key update on Operation Warp Speed could be on the way. We know that clinical trials have halted AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). However, AstraZeneca is back on business, and there is a handful of other companies continuing to make progress. Just today Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) announced that it had completed enrollment for its late-stage trial.

We could also hear an update from Biden on his lockdown plans, and potentially another update from Trump on Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN), the maker of an antibody drug he received while he was at Walter Reed Medical Center. Before the vice presidential debate, we saw REGN stock pop on favorable comments from the president.

Stimulus, Stimulus, Stimulus: Closely related to the topic of the pandemic is the absence of a second relief package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue to hotly debate such a bill — and the two are still divided. Today Pelosi indicated that they were closer to a deal than before, but it is unclear who is on board and what the final proposal will be.

There are two things that we could see tonight. The first is that Trump, who has been a bit of a wild card with the stimulus, could make a surprise announcement. He has gone rogue before, suggesting a higher-dollar bill than Republican lawmakers, and issuing a series of executive orders dealing with enhanced unemployment benefits.

The other thing we could see is more of a concrete plan from Biden of what a Democratic-backed stimulus package would look like. Right now, many on Wall Street are convinced a Biden victory would usher in a massive relief bill. However that is largely speculation. Biden could send stocks higher tonight if he gives any specifics of what measures — particularly related to state and local funding, unemployment and direct payments — he would be interested in supporting.

Foreign Policy: Foreign policy is not actually on the debate agenda for tonight. However, Trump and his team are pushing the point, claiming the CPD had earlier promised to center the third debate around foreign policy. Why does it matter? Trump wants to focus on Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic candidate. Allegations are swirling now that Biden was pursuing a big energy deal with China — and that he was dragging his father into the mix. Remember, this is what Trump loves. During the first debate, he repeatedly brought up Hunter and his history of addiction. Look for more of the same tonight.

How exactly does this relate to investing? Well, the CPD could pivot. At the heart of the Hunter Biden allegations are real concerns over U.S.-China relations. We just watched several weeks of drama play out over short-form video platform TikTok. What will this mean for other tech stocks? And what does it mean for investors as they approach foreign equities?

According to David Kass, a clinical professor of finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, a Biden presidency could be much better for foreign policy — and the stock market.

“A Biden administration will lead to a much more cooperative, and less confrontational, foreign policy.  International trade will increase, the economies of all countries will benefit, and the risk of a military conflict will be substantially reduced. This reduction in international confrontation will reduce the overall risk facing financial markets and result in higher equity prices.”

If we get lucky tonight, perhaps we will get some concrete foreign policy plans. If not, at least the CPD has new rules to cut off the mics!

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