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Beyond the Numbers

Positive Reaction To Political News May Lead To Strength On Wall Street
11/24/2020 8:48 AM

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a higher open on Tuesday, with stocks likely to extend the upward move seen in the previous session.

Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to news that the head of the General Services Administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden that the Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process.

The news eliminates some of the lingering uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election, although President Donald Trump has indicated he will continue to challenge the results in court.

The markets may also benefit from reports Biden plans to pick former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary.

According to CNBC, Yellen is seen as more likely to focus on fixing the economy rather than the progressive Democratic agenda feared by some investors.

Recent upbeat news regarding potential coronavirus vaccines may also contribute to strength on Wall Street even as the numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to spike.

Following the mixed performance seen last week, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. The major averages all moved to the upside after ending the previous session in negative territory.

The Dow jumped 327.79 points or 1.1 percent to 29,591.27, the Nasdaq edged up 25.66 points or 0.2 percent to 11,880.63 and the S&P 500 climbed 20.05 points or 0.6 percent to 3,577.59.

The strength on Wall Street came as traders reacted positively to additional upbeat news regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine.

AstraZeneca (AZN) announced the its vaccine candidate being developed in collaboration with Oxford University had an average efficacy of 70 percent.

The drug maker said one dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90 percent when given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, while another dosing regimen showed 62 percent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

Adding to the positive sentiment, the FDA has granted an emergency use authorization for Regeneron's Covid-19 antibody treatment, while purportedly helped President Donald Trump fend off the disease.

Energy stocks turned in some of the market's best performances on the day, as the upbeat vaccine news led to optimism about the outlook for demand.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index spiked by 9.5 percent, the NYSE Arca Oil Index soared by 7.3 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index surged up by 5.6 percent.

Significant strength was also visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 4 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.

Steel, computer hardware and banking stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, while gold stocks moved sharply lower along with the price of the precious metal.

Commodity, Currency Markets

Crude oil futures are rising $0.51 to $43.57 a barrel after climbing $0.64 to $43.06 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after plunging $34.60 to $1,837.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are plummeting $35.10 to $1,802.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 104.55 yen compared to the 104.52 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1870 compared to yesterday’s $1.1841.

Asia

Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Tuesday as investors cheered more positive results from coronavirus vaccine trails and the administrator of the General Services Administration formally designated Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the U.S. presidential election.

Biden has chosen former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary, adding to the positive sentiment.

Chinese shares ended lower after foreign policy specialists have said they expect tensions between the U.S. and China to continue under the Biden presidency.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 11.67 points, or 0.34percent, to 3,402.82, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 102 points, or 0.4 percent, to 26,588.20.

Japanese shares hit multi-year highs as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated the central bank's readiness to implement additional easing measures, if needed, without any hesitation.

The Nikkei 225 Index spiked 638.22 points, or 2.5 percent, to 26,165.59, marking the highest close since May 1991 as trading resumed after a long holiday weekend. The broader Topix closed 2 percent higher at 1,762.40.

Shin-Etsu Chemical surged 5 percent and Hoya Corp. added 4.5 percent. Banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial both rose about 1.6 percent.

Australian stocks rallied as Michigan election certification paved the way for a Biden transition and Victoria recorded no new cases and deaths for the 25th consecutive day.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 82.50 points, or 1.3 percent, to 6,644.10, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 83.50 points, or 1.2 percent, at 6,855.50.

The big four banks rose 2-3 percent as RBA's Deputy Governor Guy Debelle said that he doesn't expect a rate hike for three years.

Gold miners Evolution Mining, Newcrest and Northern Star Resources lost 6-9 percent after bullion hit its weakest level in four months.

Energy companies Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Origin Energy jumped 3-5 percent as oil prices climbed on vaccine optimism. Beach Energy shares surged as much as 8.2 percent.

Seoul stocks rose for a fifth day and finished at a record high as foreign investors extended their buying spree for a 14th straight session on hopes of an economic recovery amid progress in Covid-19 vaccine development.

The benchmark Kospi rose 15.17 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,617.76, led by chemical firms and battery makers. LG Chem soared 6.8 percent and Samsung SDI advanced 4.9 percent.

Consumer confidence in South Korea strengthened in November, the latest survey from the Bank of Korea showed, with a Composite Consumer Sentiment Index score of 97.9 - up from 91.6 in October.

Europe

European stocks have advanced on Tuesday after the General Services Administration told U.S. President-elect Joe Biden they're ready to start the formal transition process.

Encouraging developments related to coronavirus vaccines, a possible easing of lockdowns in France and media reports suggesting that Biden would pick former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be the next Treasury secretary also helped underpin investor sentiment.

While the French CAC 40 Index has surged up by 1.4 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 1 percent.

London-based insurer Phoenix Group Holdings has risen. In response to recent press speculation, the company confirmed that it is assessing a range of strategic options for its European businesses, Phoenix Europe.

Meanwhile, shares of Symrise have declined. Sensient Technologies Corp announced that it has agreed to sell its fragrance and aroma chemicals business to Symrise.

Deutz AG has also slumped. The German internal combustion engine manufacturer has adjusted its existing outlook of an increase in revenue to 2 billion euros, along with an EBIT margin before exceptional items of 7 to 8 percent for 2022.

Evotec SE has also moved lower after it entered into discovery and development partnership with a Finland-based biopharmaceutical company, Rappta Therapeutics, to focus on an oncology target.

In economic news, the German economy rebounded at a faster than expected pace in the third quarter, offsetting a large part of the massive contraction in the second quarter, revised data from Destatis revealed today.

GDP grew 8.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter, reversing the 9.8 percent decline in the second quarter caused by the coronavirus pandemic, following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

The third quarter GDP rate was revised up from 8.2 percent estimated on October 30.

French manufacturing sentiment deteriorated in November in the context of a second national lockdown, survey results from the statistical office Insee revealed.

The manufacturing confidence index fell less-than-expected to 92 in November from 94 in October. The expected reading was 91.

U.S. Economic Reports

At 9 am ET, Standard & Poor's is scheduled to release its report on home prices in major metropolitan areas in the month of September.

The Conference Board is due to release its report on consumer confidence in the month of November at 10 am ET. The consumer confidence index is expected to dip to 98.0 in November from 100.9 in October.

At 11 am ET, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is scheduled to speak on the U.S. economy and monetary policy at the Bank of Finland Monetary Policy Webinar.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams is due to speak in a "WSJ Newsmakers Live" webinar at 12 pm ET.

At 12:45 pm ET, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida is scheduled to participate in a discussion: "The Federal Reserve's New Framework" at a International Monetary Fund Conference.

The Treasury Department is due to announce the results of its auction of $56 billion worth of seven-year notes at 1 pm ET.

Stocks In Focus

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) are moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after the apparel retailer reported better than expected third quarter results.

Discount retailer Dollar Tree (DLTR) is also likely to see initial strength after reporting third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, shares of Best Buy (BBY) may move to the downside after the electronics retailer reported better than expected quarterly results but continued to withhold guidance.
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