Stock Market – Stock Market Today: Dow, S&P Live Updates for Dec. 31, 2020
The dollar continued its slide, weakening to the lowest in 2 1/2 years. S&P 500 Index futures opened steady, while Asian stocks are set to drift lower at the open in curtailed trading on the last day of 2020.
Australian stocks were little changed at the open, while Hong Kong futures indicated a weaker open. Markets in Japan and South Korea are shut. U.S. stocks climbed, with small-cap shares outperforming. Volumes were light during the holiday week, with trading in S&P 500 shares about 25% below the 30-day average. Bitcoin extended its record-breaking rally as it approached $29,000.
Investors have pushed risk assets including stocks to sky-high valuations this year on expectations that widespread vaccine distribution in 2021 will reignite economic growth and boost corporate profits, and amid unprecedented stimulus. The MSCI World Index of global stocks is set to end the year at or near a record high, having risen about 14% in 2020 after surging almost 68% since its March low.
“Investors continue to weigh stimulus hopes against negative pandemic developments,” Tom Essaye, a former Merrill Lynch trader who founded “The Sevens Report” newsletter, wrote to clients. “Markets have aggressively priced in a lot of positive resolution to these events (and more) in 2021.”
On the coronavirus front, Covid cases in New York City are approaching a seven-day average positivity rate of 8%, the highest in more than seven months. California reported 432 deaths from the virus on Tuesday, marking a daily record, and a temperature snag delayed shipments of the Moderna Inc. vaccine to Texas. The AstraZeneca Plc-University of Oxford vaccine was cleared for use in the UK., adding a homegrown weapon to help slow the pandemic.
Elsewhere, Bloomberg’s dollar gauge fell to its lowest since April 2018 as traders squared currency positions ahead of the year’s end amid thin liquidity.
Here are some key events coming up:
- U.S. initial jobless claims figures are published Thursday.
- Most global stock markets are closed Friday for New Year’s Day.
These are the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 Index futures were little changed as of 10:05 a.m. in Sydney. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.1%.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures fell 0.4% earlier.
- The yen was at 103.21 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan traded at 6.5048 per dollar.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.4%.
- The euro was at $1.2301.
- The British pound was at $1.3622.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries slipped one basis point to 0.92% Wednesday.
- Australia’s 10-year bond yield was at 0.98%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.1% to $48.32 a barrel.
- Gold was steady at $1,894.18 an ounce.
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