Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Latest: London stock market hits five-month closing high
- Dow Jones industrial average hits 30k!
- Wall Street jumps as Biden transition process formally begins
- Bitcoin hits $19,000 as all-time high looms
- Introduction: Joe Biden finally starts formal transition
And finally, Wall Street has ended the day at fresh record closing highs.
Shares were lifted by relief that President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House is formally underway, and by hopes for an economic rebound in 2021 as effective Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out.
The risk-on mood today, and the prospect of more US stimulus, has pushed the US dollar lower today
The British pound has gained a third of a cent to $1.336, while the euro has picked up half a cent to $1.189.
Yellen I think is viewed as a deficit dove.
In times when she has spoken about anything related to fiscal policy in her role as the Fed chair, it was often about how the Treasury needs to do more to cooperate with the Fed and do their part by providing fiscal support,” said
The Financial Times reports that investors are anticipating that Janet Yellen will be able to push through a new stimulus package to help the US economy.
“Yellen as Treasury secretary is a huge plus for markets,” said Dan Scott, chief investment officer at Vontobel Wealth Management.
“She’s highly competent and she has a long history in basically understanding what monetary policy can do for the recovery, and the limitations of monetary policy,” which should pave the way for further fiscal stimulus, he added.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has topped the 30,000 mark for the first time as financial markets around the world rally amid hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and smooth transition to a Joe Biden presidency.
The landmark for the Wall Street market comes as investors bet rapid medical advances will bring the Covid outbreak to an earlier end than feared, paving the way for a swift economic rebound next year as business activity returns closer to normal and tough government restrictions are relaxed.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer also remembers president Trump’s warnings of a stock market crash after a Joe Biden victory….
Remember when @realDonaldTrump warned during the campaign that your 401k’s and stocks would “disintegrate and disappear” if @JoeBiden won? Well, the Dow Jones industrial average just reached a record high of 30,000 points. And it’s 3 weeks since Election Day.
Shares in Tesla, the electric self-driving carmaker, have jumped over 5% to a new record high today.
Tesla is in huge demand after it won admission to the S&P 500 index next month (which means tracker funds need to hold it), pushing Elon Musk’s wealth to new highs too.
In a letter to the nation’s largest environmental groups, CEO Mary Barra said GM will pull out of the lawsuit seeking to strip California of its right to set its own clean-air standards and urged other automakers to do the same.
Barra said the company agrees with Biden’s plan to expand electric vehicle use and to reduce climate-warming emissions from vehicles.
Speculation that vaccines and a possibly peaceful presidential transition are steps toward normalization in the economy ignited another rally in shares ravaged by the pandemic, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average past 30,000 for the first time.
Boeing Co., a chronic drag on the 124-year-old index most of the year, surged as much as 5%, while JPMorgan Chase & Co., American Express Co. and Chevron Corp. climbed at least 3%. Gains outside the blue-chip benchmark were even bigger: American Airlines Group Inc. and Carnival Corp. jumped more than 8% while movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. jumped 15%.
Donald Trump has made a brief appearance to try to take the credit for the stock market’s record high today.
Bizarrely, the president claims that 30,000 points is ‘a sacred number’ that no-one thought would ever be hit (perhaps he should check out Dow 40,000: Strategies for Profiting from the Greatest Bull Market in History, published back in 1999)
“The stock market’s just broken 30,000 — never been broken, that number. That’s a sacred number, 30,000, and nobody thought they’d ever see it.
That’s the ninth time since the beginning of 2020, and the 48th time that we’ve broken records during the Trump administration.
Lol what was this? pic.twitter.com/7NfvGqzUg9
Trump brags about Dow 30,000 at surprise press conference, leaves after a minute https://t.co/HKxna4NtoQ
Today’s rally means the Dow has surged more than 13% this month, lifted by encouraging vaccine trial results and a post-election bounce.
The index is up around 5% this year – having more than recovered its losses during the crash of February and March.
The Europe-wide Stoxx 600 index of top shares has closed at its highest level since late February.
That reflects hopes that the lockdowns introduced in Europe in recent weeks will be relaxed soon…. plus optimism after AstraZeneca reported yesterday that its vaccine provides up to 90% efficacy.
European shares ended higher on Tuesday, as the potential easing of lockdowns in France combined with optimism around the deployment of a coronavirus vaccine as early as the beginning of next year to lift hopes of a swift economic recovery.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.8% to its strongest close since late February, supported by strong gains in oil & gas stocks, which were set for their best month on record as crude prices hit their highest levels since late March.
The UK’s stock market also rallied strongly today, as the risk-on mood swept through the City of London.
Shares pushed higher following the gains on Wall Street, and the FTSE 100 index of blue-chip shares closed 98 points higher at 6432 points, a jump of 1.5%.
The oil price is surging higher too, as investors anticipate stronger demand for energy as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out next year.
US crude has jumped by 4.5% to $45 per barrel.
The Dow is holding firm over the 30k mark — and is now up 508 points or 1.7% at 30,099 points.
Energy, basic materials, financials and industrials remain the best-performing sectors, as traders bet on an economic rebound – and new stimulus measures – soon.
Wall Street is increasingly betting on cyclicals now that the Trump administration has given the green light to the formal transition process to President-elect Biden. The General Services Administration (GSA) acknowledged President-elect Biden as the winner and will release the necessary resources and services that will allow his team to be prepared for national security threats and coordinate with Trump officials over several matters, including the coronavirus pandemic response.
US stocks must be taking their Xanax as coronavirus anxiety levels continue ease on vaccine optimism and the beginning of the Biden transition. The Russell 2000 index is leading the charge, while the Nasdaq is underperforming as investors anticipate a Yellen led Treasury alongside Fed Chair Powell will deliver an unprecedented coordination of monetary and fiscal policy that will pump up the battered sectors of the US economy.
President Trump has often trumpeted stock market’s gains as proof of his success, but today’s rally is being driven by relief that president-elect Biden’s transition is, finally, properly underway.
Just a month ago, Trump claimed shares would tank if his Democratic rival won the presidential election.
They say the stock market will boom if I’m elected. If he’s elected, the stock market will crash.
“Where I come from, in Scranton and Claymont, the people don’t live off of the stock market.
Trump predicted Armageddon on Wall Street if he lost. The Dow just hit 30,000 points (!!)
The prospect of Joe Biden taking over from President Trump in a smooth fashion has boosted sentiment in the markets, says David Madden of CMC Markets:
Although President Trump has not conceded, it is starting to look as if he will go quietly….
Equity traders welcomed the signals that the transition of power should be uneventful.
Boom! The Dow Jones industrial average has just hit the 30,000 point mark for the first time ever.
That’s quite a way for the markets to mark the start of Joe Biden’s formal transition process to the White House next January.
It took the US open for the markets to really display their delight at the start of the formal transition process to the Joe Biden administration this Tuesday.
Relief that the Democrats can hopefully hit the ground running when it comes to tackling covid-19 in January, as well as the positive impact the pro-spending former Fed chair Janet Yellen is expected to make as Treasury Secretary, drove the Dow Jones to record highs.
Blink and you missed it but the Dow briefly hit 30,000.50 before pulling back a smidge.
Pandemic? What pandemic?
Dow Jones over 30,000 for the first time ever as new records keep being hit despite the gloom
Markets highly forward looking as always
Marios Hadjikyriacos, analyst at XM, says a ‘perfect storm’ of good news has lifted global markets this week.
A perfect storm of encouraging news has engulfed global markets early this week, reawakening some animal spirits. The latest AstraZeneca vaccine isn’t as effective as its counterparts but is much cheaper and easier to store, the US economy seems to be firing up, and president-elect Biden is set to fill crucial financial posts with market-friendly candidates.
The takeaway was that the US economy is quite literally heating up, and that businesses are feeling much better about the future in a vaccinated world.
Meanwhile, it was reported that former Fed Chair Janet Yellen will likely return to serve as Treasury Secretary, while Lael Brainard is primed to stay at the Fed to become Chair when Powell’s term ends in 2022. The combination implies an unprecedented synergy between fiscal and monetary policy.
Reuters is also reporting that MSCI’s index of shares across the globe has hit a record intra-day high:
MSCI ALL-COUNTRY WORLD STOCKS INDEX HITS RECORD INTRADAY HIGH
Industrial stocks, banks and oil companies are leading the Dow to its record high today, while technology and healthcare stocks are lagging behind.
Boeing is up 4.8%, after European regulators set out conditions for putting its grounded 737 Max jets back into service.
“Today, the market is going to largely focus on the new administration’s steps going forward,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in New York…..
“There is a lot of interest in industrials, basic materials, financials – that’s what you are supposed to buy for the text books when the economy is indicating that it’s going to enter into a rebound or an expansion cycle.
Donald Trump’s decision to (finally) co-operate with the transition process for president-elect Joe Biden helped to drive the Dow to its fresh record high today, says Neil Wilson of Markets.com.
We’re seeing some big risk-on moves this afternoon in the market which we can attribute to some very favourable pre-Thanksgiving flows off the back of Trump giving the green light to the transition, news that Janet Yellen is heading to Treasury and vaccine positivity increasing as the Astra news gets fully digested.
Uncertainties about next year are being cleared out of the way and the vast liquidity put is still positive even if this all looks like it’s a little exuberant.
Intraday high for the Dow Industrials so far today?
It’s getting closer….
The Dow Jones industrial average has just risen over its previous all-time intraday high!
The Dow is currently up 393 points, or 1.3%, at 29,984 points – on the brink of the 30,000 point mark for the first time ever.
#MarketWatch Dow Jones Industrial Average hits a fresh record high
Just in: US consumer confidence has taken a sharp fall this month, as the Covid-19 pandemic has escalated.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index has dropped to 96.1 this month from 101.4 in October.
U.S. NOV. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE FALLS TO 96.1; EST. 98
“Consumer confidence declined in November, after remaining virtually flat in October.
“Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions held steady, though consumers noted a moderation in business conditions, suggesting growth has slowed in Q4.
Expectations component of consumer confidence back near the pandemic lows. Volatile though. pic.twitter.com/MFDee0OGaO
While shares, oil and bitcoin rise, gold is still being pummelled…
European stocks are also romping higher, as a risk-on rally sweeps through markets.
The FTSE 100 index of blue-chip shares is now up 83 points or 1.3% in London, at 6417. That’s near to its highest closing level since June; travel companies, oil stocks and hospitality firms remain the top risers.
The New York stock market has opened higher, as investors welcome the news that President-elect Joe Biden’s formal transition to the White House is, finally, underway.
Stocks are rallying on relief that the lingering political uncertainty has lifted, lifting the Dow close to last week’s record high.
“Janet Yellen should sail through the nominating process since she is a known commodity and gained bipartisan support in the past for her other posts, including Fed Chair.”
“Her appointment will likely deepen the hand-in-glove relationship between the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. One of her first actions probably will be to re-establish and make even more powerful the various lending facilities that current Treasury Secretary Mnuchin will allow to expire at the end of the year.”
Britain’s car sector is warning that failing to clinch a Brexit trade deal could cost the sector over £55bn in lost production over the next five years.
The SMMT estimates that production losses could reach £55.4bn (at factory gate prices) over the next five years if the sector was forced to trade on WTO conditions long-term.
The UK automotive sector risks losing £55bn in manufacturing value within five years in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to new industry analysis.
British car production could drop below 1m cars a year if there is no deal, compared with more than 1.3m in 2019, because tariffs would make large parts of the UK business unviable, said forecasts commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the industry lobby group.
A surge in shopping from home has eased the pressure on retailers caused by England’s four-week lockdown and tighter restrictions in the rest of the UK, according to a survey from the CBI.
The employers’ organisation reported that while the level of spending was well below normal there were also clear signs of consumers substituting online purchases for visits to stores in person.
Bank of England interest-rate setter Jonathan Haskel has welcomed the recent progress on developing Covid-19 vaccines, the Press Association reports.
In an interview with the PA news agency, Haskel said:
“There’s no question that (a vaccine) has a positive impact on the economic outlook.”
“That’s extremely positive and should be a very big help to companies and households.”
“If because of the vaccine the economy … comes back, then the effects of Brexit may turn out to be a more longer term problem for the economy.”
Wall Street is on track to open higher, lifted by vaccine optimism and relief that Joe Biden’s formal transition process is finally underway.
In the futures market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently around 1.1% higher at around 29,840 points, near its own record high.
Financial markets research group Bespoke has shown how gold and bitcoin have diverged in recent weeks….
Bitcoin testing a breakout of December 2017 highs. pic.twitter.com/IARdwCwkA8
Bitcoin and gold used to move in unison with each other. Until October. pic.twitter.com/ziurXuQ5kW
As a result of their divergent paths, one bitcoin will now get you 10.5 ounces of gold. pic.twitter.com/yccHaEQUdh
Residential property transactions across the UK surged by almost 10% in October, compared with a month earlier, as buyers rushed to complete their house purchases during the stamp duty holiday.
More than 105,000 residential transactions took place last month, 9.8% more than in September, and 8.1% higher than October 2019, according to provisional seasonally adjusted data from HMRC.
“The pandemic and a raft of measures to support the economy have delivered record house prices and, finally, a head-turning recovery in sales volumes.“
There haven’t been more transactions than this in a single month since March 2016, and even that was a very unusual spike created by tax changes for landlords.”
Here’s our news story on bitcoin breaking through $19,000 for the first time in almost three years, close to its all-time high of just under $20,000 in December 2017.
Elon Musk has toppled Bill Gates as the world’s second-richest person, only a week after the Tesla co-founder overtook Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to become the third-richest.
My colleague Julia Kollewe explains:
Driven by a further surge in Tesla’s share price, the 49-year-old entrepreneur’s net worth rose by $7.2bn (£5.4bn) to $127.9bn. It has soared by more than $100bn this year – outranking everyone else on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which lists the world’s 500 richest people. In January, Musk was in 35th place.
The maverick chief executive of the electric car company is now ranked immediately behind the Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos.
Gold is not taking part in today’s rally.
Instead, bullion has slumped by 1.4% to $1,810 per ounce, its lowest level since mid-July (just before it surged over the $2,000/ounce mark for the first time).
Bitcoin and other crypto-assets are benefitting from renewed talks about inflation and debasement of currencies with several well-known institutional investors arguing for having some Bitcoin in the portfolio.
Bitcoin approaching all-time high of $19,511. Crypto fans are rushing to project its next record, with forecasts varying from $25,000 to more than $300,000 by the end of next year. pic.twitter.com/Dcr6TbDKNI
Shares are also pushing higher too, with the FTSE 100 index is now up 1.1% or 71 points, at 6405.
Travel stocks, hospitality companies and oil firms are still driving the rally, on hopes of economic recovery in 2021 as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out.
“An upbeat day for the markets has been spurred by Donald Trump accepting the US presidency transition to Joe Biden must begin, thus implying a smoother than expected handover,”
“Also supporting markets was a pick-up in the Brent Crude price. Oil acts as an economic bellwether and the commodity has been on a tear for the past month, rising by more than 20% in value as markets start to become more optimistic about economic activity amid positive vaccine news.
Oil is also sweeping higher today, with vaccine optimism driving expectations of higher demand next year.
Brent crude has risen by 1.2% to $46.61 per barrel, the highest level since it crashed back in March as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the global economy.
Oil prices tick up on further progress in vaccine development and expectations that OPEC+ will decide in less than two weeks to roll over the current cuts for three months instead of easing them from January 2021
This has in turn given bulls hopes that the oil market will regain some semblance of a balance next year
Another factor behind Bitcoin’s surge is that it experienced a ‘halving’ back in May — a technical change which lowered the supply of new coins into the market.
This halving reduced the rewards offered to bitcoin miners (who are incentivised with new bitcoin for solving complicated computational tasks to verify bitcoin transactions).
Citi technical analyst Tom Fitzpatrick said in a note last week that bitcoin could climb as high as $318,000 by the end of next year, citing its limited supply, ease of movement across borders, and opaque ownership.
Those numbers though are a head-scratcher for Toronto-based Kevin Muir, an independent proprietary trader.
Bitcoin at $100,000 in 2021? Outrageous to some, a no-brainer for backers https://t.co/IdSYmtPIhF
Fear of missing out (or FOMO) is helping to push bitcoin to three-year highs today, says Naeem Aslam of Avatrade.
Traders know that crypto asset is not your normal beast, it is hype, and you have to pounce on it when it comes back.
One important factor that we need to keep in mind is that the bull run hasn’t started yet; so far, we only had a recovery. The actual bull run will only start when the price will break above the 20K price level.
Bitcoin has now gained more than 35% this month, a quite blistering rally.
Chris Weston of brokerage Pepperstone says there are several reasons why crypto is becoming a mainstream product.
Other cryptocurrencies are also rallying today:
Crypto update:#Bitcoin 19034.13 +3.32%#Ether 613.84 +1.26%#Ripple (XRP) 0.6511 +13.75%#BitcoinCash 354.46 +12.51%#EOS 3.5763 +7.48%#Stellar 0.1615 +33.91%#Litecoin 90.74 +3.13%#NEO 19.764 +5.11%#Crypto 10 Index 6128 +6.41%#BTC #ETH #XRP #BCH #XLM #LTC
Bitcoin has just hit a fresh three-year high, heading even closer to its all-time peak set nearly three years ago.
The cryptocurrency has crossed the $19,000 mark for the first time since December 2017, up 3% today.
Bitcoin’s ascent has been incredible over the last couple of months and it’s showing little sign of slowing. It’s see a slight pause as it closes in on a new record high and should it achieve that, who knows what will come next.
Accurately predicting an end of year price for bitcoin is pointless, it could just as easily be $50,000 as $15,000. We’ve seen what this can do before and the difference now, compared to last time it was at these levels, is that it only feels like the beginning. The hype isn’t yet what is was, a break to new highs could bring that and we know what that means. Buckle up, it’s going to be quite the ride.
Back in Europe, German business morale has fallen… fuelling concerns that its economy could shrink this quarter.
The IFO institute has reported that its Business Climate Index has dropped this month, to 90.7 points from 92.5 points in October.
Bad news for German business morale in November, after better than expected data on Q3 GDP:
Ifo Business Climate Index falls to 90.7 from previous 92.7 but more than exp. 90.1
Business Expectations Index falls to 91.5 from previous 95.0 but more than exp. 93.5
Markets also got a lift last night from the news that Janet Yellen is lined up to become America’s next Treasury secretary.
Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, is reportedly Joe Biden’s pick to lead the finance ministry — at a time when unemployment is painfully high, and the Covid-19 pandemic is raging.
While the pandemic is still seriously affecting the economy, we need to continue extraordinary fiscal support.”
One headline that seemed to help US equity prices [last night] was news that President-elect Biden is planning to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen to serve as his Treasury Secretary. The S&P rose +0.45% in the c.15 minutes after the story hit later in the session.
She had been viewed as one of the front runners for the position and is likely to be welcomed by both wings of the Democratic party. She is also likely to try to closely align fiscal and monetary policy, which could mean quickly reversing the decision of current Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to shutter the Fed facilities.
We expect her to be in favour for more easing, which should help the Fed’s agenda. As emergency spending rises, we can expect Treasury yields to move higher as well as reflation trades to pick up….
Janet Yellen specialized as labor economist and is thought to be highly concerned with inequality and climate change, while not a particularly controversial pick for Wall Street banks.
Janet Yellen is experienced, wise, smart, and really cares — what a great Treasury Secretary our country will have.
She is uniquely equipped for this moment having made big contributions to our understanding and more importantly policy on all of the biggest issues of the day, from economic recovery to climate change. I can’t wait to see what she can accomplish as Treasury Secretary.
Cruise operator Carnival is also rallying this morning, up 10% — just behind TUI (now up 11%) on the FTSE 250 risers board.
SSP, which runs cafes and takeaways at airports and railway stations, has gained 8%, while easyJet has gained 6%.
Three weeks after the US elections, Joe Biden received official acknowledgment that he effectively won the race to the White House. Trump liked the tweet, sending the message that he has come to terms with the election outcome even though he vows to keep fighting it.
The prospect of a disorderly transfer of power has dragged on the market for the past three weeks since the election; a line can now be drawn under this risk.
A vaccine rollout can’t come too soon for French companies.
French business confidence has hit a five-month low this month, as the country’s new lockdown hit the service sector.
According to the business managers surveyed between 28 October and 19 November, the general business outlook has darkened considerably compared to the previous month.
This wave of pessimism has concerned in particular, in the context of the second lockdown, retail trade and services, but also manufacturing.
European markets are also strengthening in early trading, with Germany’s DAX gaining 0.85% and France’s CAC up 1%.
Energy stocks, industrials, and financial companies are among the risers on the Europe-wide Stoxx 600, as investors look for signs that the current lockdowns may be eased.
“Emmanuel Macron will give prospects over several weeks, especially on how we adjust our strategy. What is at stake is adapting lockdown rules as the health situation improves while avoiding a new flare-up in the epidemic,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told the French weekly, Le Journal Du Dimanche.
Stocks in London have opened higher, with the FTSE 100 index up 55 points or 0.87% to 6389 in early trading.
Travel stocks, energy companies and hospitality firms are leading the charge, as investors ‘rotate’ into hard-hit sectors who should do better when vaccine rollouts allow economies to reopen.
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Meanwhile, several Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump and acknowledging Biden as the election winner. Uncertainty about the election outcome in the context of lawsuits alleging voter fraud in some key states wasn’t materially holding back risk sentiment.
Still, the GSA’s announcement is vol-suppressing at the margin. And that is having a positive effect across markets as the power vacuum in Washington looks to be sucking less life out of the markets.
“is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track”.
In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”
…fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history? We are moving full speed ahead. Will never concede to fake ballots & “Dominion”.
Every day that an orderly presidential transition process is delayed, our democracy grows weaker in the eyes of our own citizens and the nation’s stature on the global stage is diminished.