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Stocks Trade Near Record Highs; Crude Oil Gains: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks touched all-time highs and the dollar’s slide deepened on Thursday as investors monitored negotiations on fresh fiscal support from Washington.

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The S&P 500 reached a record high for third consecutive day before paring the rise. The energy and real estate sectors led gains in the benchmark index, while utilities and materials declined. Boeing Co. pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher after the planemaker sealed a landmark order for its 737 Max jet from Ryanair Holdings Plc. Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management’s index showed service industries expanded at healthy pace in November.

“We continue to see the push-pull of short-term versus long-term,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank, said by phone. “We’re seeing investors still pretty confident in the ability of the global economy to continue to recover.”

All major indexes for U.S. equities — the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq Composite Index — surpassed their previous closing records. Such synchronized highs were last seen in January 2018.



chart: Reversal in U.S. stock leadership points to sustained gains, Leuthold says


© Bloomberg
Reversal in U.S. stock leadership points to sustained gains, Leuthold says

Investor focus has turned to a Democratic proposal to break the stimulus deadlock that could provide a potential driver to the rally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that it was “heartening” that Democrats embraced a smaller price tag for a stimulus package but gave no indication he was willing to raise his own offer to get a deal.

“The market continues to keep its fingers crossed for a stimulus package, no matter what the size,” said CFRA Research’s Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall. “Investors just want to know if Biden can ‘reach across the aisle’ and sway the Republicans. That would offer optimism for additional actions from a working relationship between the parties once he is sworn in.”

While markets advanced up in Asia, European shares were mixed. Britain’s pound more than recouped Wednesday’s drop as traders took in stride France’s threat to veto a Brexit deal.

The dollar added to its slump this week that has sent the euro, Australian dollar and the Korean won to their highest levels versus the greenback in more than two years, and the Swiss franc to its strongest since 2015.

Oil edged higher as OPEC+ reached an agreement to ease its oil-output cuts next year more gradually than previously planned, giving a fragile market more time to absorb the extra supply.

These are some key events coming up:

The U.S. employment report on Friday is expected to show more Americans headed back to work in November, though at a slower pace than October.German factory orders for October are due Friday.

Here are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index was little changed at 3,669.35 as of 2:04 p.m. New York time, the highest on record.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.4% to 29,996.37, the highest in more than a week.
The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3% to 12,392.46, the highest on record.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed at 391.72.
The MSCI All-Country World Index climbed 0.4% to 628.60, the highest on record.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.5% to 1,130.23, the lowest in more than two years.
The euro increased 0.2% to $1.2143, the strongest in more than two years.
The British pound climbed 0.7% to $1.3454, the strongest in more than two years.
The Japanese yen appreciated 0.5% to 103.92 per dollar, the strongest in almost two weeks on the largest rise in almost three weeks.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped two basis points to 0.92%.
Germany’s 10-year yield dipped four basis points to -0.56%, the largest decrease in more than 10 weeks.
Britain’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 0.322%, the first retreat in a week.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.8% to $45.66 a barrel, the highest in more than a week.
Gold strengthened 0.4% to $1,838.61 an ounce, the highest in almost two weeks.

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