Stocks Drop Amid Virus Surge; Pound Trims Decline: Markets Wrap
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) logo is displayed on the trading floor in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Stocks Drop Amid Virus Surge; Pound Trims Decline: Markets Wrap

Stocks fell as coronavirus infections swept across U.S. states, triggering fears of more restrictions. The pound pared losses as the U.K. agreed on further talks with the European Commission to address the impasse over a trade deal.

The S&P 500 dropped from an all-time high, led by energy, real-estate and financial companies. Intel Corp. tumbled on news that Apple Inc. is planning a series of new Mac processors for introduction as early as 2021. Interactive Brokers Group Inc. sank after saying it was experiencing “a significant failure” across multiple parts of its data-storage system. The Nasdaq 100 rose for a ninth straight day -- its longest winning streak in almost a year. Boeing Co. jumped as UBS Group AG recommended buying shares of the planemaker. Airbnb Inc. boosted the price range of its initial public offering.

The U.S. is now averaging about as many deaths per day from Covid-19 as it was in April, and several large states -- including California, New York and Pennsylvania -- are facing alarming upward momentum in hospitalizations. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, warned that the Christmas season could be worse than Thanksgiving for fueling the spread of disease. Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo said indoor dining in New York City -- the early epicenter of the pandemic -- will close if the regional hospitalization rate hasn’t stabilized after five days.

As coronavirus cases surge, markets are increasingly expecting a stimulus deal to be done -- especially after last week’s disappointing jobless data. With Republican and Democratic negotiators struggling to reach an agreement on both a mammoth government spending bill and Covid-19 relief, lawmakers are set to postpone what had been a Friday night deadline for passing a bill.

Stocks Drop Amid Virus Surge; Pound Trims Decline: Markets Wrap

“The market is basically assuming that it gets done,” said Bryce Doty, portfolio manager at Sit Fixed Income Advisors. “Now any setback makes the market vulnerable, because it’s built in that they will pass it.”

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Brussels for crisis talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as they try to break the deadlocked negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal. The two spoke on Monday evening amid warnings from British officials the talks could collapse unless negotiators make a rapid breakthrough.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • Thursday brings the European Central Bank policy decision and a press briefing from Christine Lagarde. Economists widely expect the central bank to increase and extend its pandemic bond-buying program.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration meets to discuss the vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech on Thursday. If the FDA authorizes emergency use, Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said vaccine distribution could begin within 24 hours.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 fell 0.2% at 4 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.3%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.2%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.1%.
  • The euro lost 0.1% to $1.2112.
  • The British pound fell 0.5% to $1.3379.
  • The Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 104.02 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries sank four basis points to 0.93%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield decreased three basis points to -0.58%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield fell seven basis points to 0.283%.

Commodities

  • The Bloomberg Commodity Index slid 0.5%.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.2% to $45.72 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 1.4% to $1,864.56 an ounce.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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