S&P 500 Near Key Resistance After First US Presidential Debate. Who Won?

Published date: .

2020 Election, S&P 500 Analysis, First Presidential Debate, Who Won the Debate? - Talking Points

  • The first presidential debate gave little indication of each candidate’s respective policies
  • Post-debate polling data indicates former Vice President Joe Biden outperformed Trump
  • Equities initially rose following the debate with S&P 500 now just shy of the February top


With just a little over a month to go until the election on November 3, investors have just seen the first of many more presidential debates. Candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump discussed several topics including the economy, Covid-19, race relations and the environment. Markets initially rose before subsequently experiencing a sharp decline following the end of the debate.

2020 US Election Polls

S&P 500 Near Key Resistance After First US Presidential Debate. Who Won?

Source: RealClearPolitics

Given the significant number of interruptions and overall vague answers to what were broad questions, it was difficult to extract what their exactly policies are for key economic issues. Mr. Biden appeared to have outperformed relative to expectations. He took a moderate approach to policies like the environment that carried with it considerably less uncertainty than bolder measures put forward by other lawmakers in his party.

First Presidential Debate Polling Data

S&P 500 Near Key Resistance After First US Presidential Debate. Who Won?

Source: Vox citing Data for Progress

This may have helped boost his popularity by virtue of being able to appeal to a wider base of potential voters. Polling data from Data for Progress shows that audiences were more receptive to Mr. Biden’s appearance on the debate than his counterpart. Looking ahead, the next major even to monitor will be the first vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris on October 7.

S&P 500 Price Analysis

The S&P 500 index rose a little over 0.70 percent on Wednesday but stopped just short of key resistance at 3393.5. This inflection point not only marks the February top before markets cratered in March but also functioned as a stalling point when the benchmark index timidly approached it mid-August before decisively breaking through it. The S&P 500 subsequently rose until it topped at 3588.1 and then retreated.

S&P 500 - Daily Chart

S&P 500 Near Key Resistance After First US Presidential Debate. Who Won?

S&P 500 chart created using TradingView

While it fell, a steep descending resistance channel formed. However, the index – in a relatively short period of time – broke out of it but its gains may be capped at resistance at 3393.5. Wednesday’s candle – especially when looking at the wick – indicated a desire to climb higher but ultimately underlying confidence was lacking. However, if the S&P 500 punctures this ceiling, bullish sentiment may build and catapult it higher.

--- Written by Dimitri Zabelin, Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com

To contact Dimitri, use the comments section below or @ZabelinDimitrion Twitter