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Stocks Pare Rally Amid Anxiety Over Stimulus Size: Markets Wrap

Rita Nazareth and Vildana Hajric
·4 min read
Stocks Pare Rally Amid Anxiety Over Stimulus Size: Markets Wrap
Stocks Pare Rally Amid Anxiety Over Stimulus Size: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Stocks pared gains on concern that lawmakers will pass a smaller stimulus package after encouraging developments on the coronavirus vaccine front. Treasuries tumbled.

The S&P 500 moved away from record levels after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress should pass only a limited bill before the end of 2020. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve warned that asset prices in key markets could take a hit if the pandemic’s economic impact worsens in coming months. The benchmark gauge still closed at its highest in two months amid strong trading volume on news the Covid-19 shot being developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE prevented over 90% of infections. The Nasdaq 100 fell amid a selloff in giants such as Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. Highlighting the rotation from big tech, an equal-weight measure of the S&P 500 had its best day ever relative to the cap-weighted index.

Shares that have been hit hard by the economic toll of lockdowns like travel stocks and movie theaters soared, with Carnival Corp. and Cinemark Holdings Inc. surging at least 39%. Stay-at-home companies Zoom Video Communications Inc. and Peloton Interactive Inc. plunged. Meanwhile, several block sales in 10-year Treasury futures added fuel to the pressure on notes, with the benchmark rate soaring to the highest since March. Oil surged, while gold, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc slumped. The dollar rose.

Investors pulled out of haven assets and poured cash into markets that are closely tied to economic growth, with the value of the MSCI All Country Index jumping by as much as $1.8 trillion after the latest vaccine developments. President-elect Joe Biden announced a new coronavirus task force as his transition team seeks to fulfill a campaign promise to develop a dramatically different approach than President Donald Trump’s to contain the outbreak. He warned of a “dark winter” and many more deaths as the pandemic continues to spread unabated. The top infectious disease expert in the U.S. Anthony Fauci said the shot being developed by Pfizer will have a “major impact” on everything we do with regards to Covid-19 going forward.

“The bull market has a ton of ammunition to keep going,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing product at E*Trade Financial. “With more certainty around the election, a strong quarter of earnings across many sectors, and extremely positive news on the vaccine front, there is little to hold us back.”

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar-yen cross -- a commonly watched risk barometer -- surged by most since June. The Turkish lira soared after the resignation of the country’s economy czar and the dismissal of the central bank chief.

These are some key events coming up:

Alibaba holds its annual Singles’ Day on Wednesday, an online global shopping phenomenon that had $38 billion of sales last yearEuropean Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell are among the speakers Thursday at an online ECB Forum entitled “Central Banks in a Shifting World”Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 hold an extraordinary meeting Friday to discuss bolder action to help poor nations struggling to repay their debts.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 increased 1.2% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 4%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.4%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 1.4%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index increased 0.4%.The euro fell 0.5% to $1.1811.The Japanese yen depreciated 1.9% to 105.38 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries jumped 10 basis points to 0.92%.Germany’s 10-year yield climbed 11 basis points to -0.51%.Britain’s 10-year yield jumped 10 basis points to 0.372%.

Commodities

The Bloomberg Commodity Index dipped 0.1%.West Texas Intermediate crude surged 7.2% to $39.83 a barrel.Gold depreciated 4.5% to $1,863.14 an ounce.

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