U.S. Stocks Resume Record-Setting Year-End Rally: Markets Wrap
Traders work at the new Nasdaq Inc. trading floor of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX) inside FMC Tower in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (Photographer: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg)

U.S. Stocks Resume Record-Setting Year-End Rally: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks bounced back to claim fresh records as investors chased gains that have added more than $5 trillion to valuations this year. Oil topped $61 a barrel and Treasuries edged higher.

After dipping Wednesday, the S&P 500 index on Thursday pushed past 3,200 for the first time, led by tech, health-care and communications shares. The benchmark is up more than 7% in the fourth quarter and 27% so far this year. Data showing that jobless claims fell less than forecast did little to alter views on the health of the economy. Markets ignored the impeachment of President Donald Trump. The dollar steadied against its major peers. China said it was in close contact with the U.S. to sign the initial trade deal announced last Friday.

Treasuries bucked a sell-off in sovereign bonds from London to Tokyo as monetary decisions rolled out. Sweden’s central bank raised its benchmark to end half a decade of sub-zero interest rates, a move that will provide a test case for global counterparts with negative borrowing costs.

“We’ve been up like six of the last seven days so tactically we are overbought,” said Alec Young, managing director of Global Markets Research at FTSE Russell. “People know the seasonals are good, they know the macro situation has improved in terms of global growth and the trade situation. The concern is that a lot of this is already reflected in the market.”

U.S. Stocks Resume Record-Setting Year-End Rally: Markets Wrap

With few new catalysts on the horizon to revive the equity rally and details of the trade deal remaining vague, equity traders appear to be in a holding pattern. Central banks likewise seem to be on hold, with policy makers in Japan, Taiwan, Norway and the U.K. leaving interest rates unchanged on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the pound fell, adding to worst two-day plunge since July. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced. Earlier in Asia, equities dipped in Tokyo, Sydney and Hong Kong while they edged higher in Seoul. Stocks in China were unchanged after erasing the day’s losses as the central bank injected more liquidity before a year-end cash squeeze.

U.S. Stocks Resume Record-Setting Year-End Rally: Markets Wrap

Here are some key events to watch for this week:

  • Revised U.S. GDP data are due Friday.
  • Friday also brings quadruple witching in the U.S., the simultaneous expiration date of stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures. Expect elevated trading volume, particularly in the last hour of the session.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.4% to 3,205.28 as of 4:01 p.m. New York time, the highest on record.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.5% to 28,376.21, the highest on record with the biggest gain in a week.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.2% to 415.07.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.2% to 1,106.68, the first retreat in more than a week and the biggest drop in more than two weeks.
  • The MSCI World Index of developed countries advanced 0.3% to 2,340.84, the highest on record.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1% to 1,195.23.
  • The British pound decreased 0.5% to $1.3014, the weakest in more than two weeks.
  • The euro gained 0.1% to $1.1124.
  • The Japanese yen appreciated 0.2% to 109.30 per dollar, the strongest in more than a week on the largest rise in more than two weeks.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped less than one basis point to 1.91%.
  • The yield on two-year Treasuries declined one basis point to 1.62%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to -0.24%, the highest in six weeks.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.5% to $61.22 a barrel, the highest in seven months.
  • Gold strengthened 0.3% to $1,479.15 an ounce, the highest in six weeks.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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