Stocks Post Another Record High; Oil Halts Slide: Markets Wrap
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.(Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Stocks Post Another Record High; Oil Halts Slide: Markets Wrap

U.S. stocks registered a record high for a second consecutive day amid renewed optimism over U.S. stimulus talks and a rebound in crude oil. Treasury yields rose, while the dollar touched a more than two-year low.

The S&P 500 edged up 0.2%, closing at an all-time high, led by gains in energy companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. Inc. weighted on tech-heavy Nasdaq indexes with analysts calling its purchase of Slack Technologies Inc. expensive. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called for immediate talks and said a bipartisan $908 billion aid proposal should be the foundation for negotiations.

“It’s a push-and-pull of market positioning,” said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management’s Ascent Private Wealth Group. “It’s just this two step forward, one step back that we’ve watched in the stock market for a number of months now.”

Oil snapped a three-day slide after a surprise decline in U.S. crude inventories and signals that OPEC+ made progress toward a widely anticipated deal on output curbs. Earlier, Pfizer Inc. climbed after its shot was cleared for deployment in the U.K. as soon as next week.

Britain’s pound slumped after the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier reportedly told envoys the outcome of any deal is still too close to call.

Stocks Post Another Record High; Oil Halts Slide: Markets Wrap

After vaccine breakthroughs fueled record monthly gains for global stocks, markets appear to have priced in an improved health outlook, and investors are turning some of their attention to bonds. One of the year’s biggest spikes in Treasury yields on Tuesday has spurred speculation about the potential impact of rising rates on stocks and corporate debt.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated Wednesday that there was no rift between the central bank and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the sunsetting of emergency lending programs. Powell emphasized the need for more stimulus before a Congressional committee.

“We’re watching the size of the fiscal stimulus package and the timing of it, which is really important,” said Michael Greenly, a senior portfolio manager at UBS Private Wealth Management. “We’re also watching if there’s going to be longer restrictive social distancing policies, which could affect the economy on some levels. But even with that, the recent data’s suggested that the economic recovery is continuing.”

Elsewhere, the offshore yuan erased gains after President-elect Joe Biden told the New York Times he won’t soon remove tariffs on Chinese goods. Gold rose for a second day.

Bitcoin hovered around $19,000 after nearly reaching $20,000 on Tuesday.

Stocks Post Another Record High; Oil Halts Slide: Markets Wrap

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:


  • The S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% to 3,668.99 as of 4:01 p.m. New York time, the highest on record.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.2% to 29,884.78.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index was little changed at 12,349.37.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.1% to 391.69.
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index jumped 0.3% to 626.59, the highest on record.


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1% to 1,135.62, the lowest in more than two years.
  • The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2102, the strongest in more than two years.
  • The Japanese yen depreciated 0.2% to 104.51 per dollar, the weakest in more than a week.
  • The British pound fell 0.4% to $1.3366, the largest drop in almost three weeks.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 0.94%, the highest in three weeks.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield gained one basis point to -0.52%, the highest in three weeks.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield increased one basis point to 0.354%, the highest in three weeks.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.3% to $45.13 a barrel, the first advance in a week.
  • Gold strengthened 0.7% to $1,828.75 an ounce, the highest in more than a week.

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