US stocks climb amid optimism around Biden’s COVID-19 plan and stimulus push

NYSE traders
  • US stocks gained on Thursday as investors cheered the Biden administration’s plan to better tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • President Joe Biden on Wednesday revealed plans to accelerate testing, vaccine rollouts, and reopenings.
  • Initial jobless claims fell to 900,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. Economists expected claims to total 935,000.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities rose on Thursday as investors bet on the Biden administration to accelerate the nation’s economic recovery.

President Joe Biden unveiled new plans for how the government will tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday. The president aims to sign 10 executive orders and invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate testing, vaccine distribution, and reopen schools and businesses.

Efforts to better curb on the virus’s spread are set to join a push for additional fiscal support. The president called for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package earlier in the month that includes $1,400 direct payments, expanded unemployment insurance, and relief for states and municipalities.

Republicans are likely to oppose the measure, having previously balked at passing new aid for governments. Still, expectations for another large-scale spending bill have led analysts to lift growth forecasts and S&P 500 targets.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:

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Tech stocks continued to climb after Netflix’s healthy earnings beat boosted indexes the session prior. Equities hit record highs on Wednesday as Biden’s inauguration amplified hopes for fresh fiscal stimulus and a stronger economic recovery. The jump was the largest Inauguration Day return in nearly a century.

In economic data, weekly filings for unemployment benefits totaled an unadjusted 900,000 last week as the labor market’s recovery continued to push up against elevated COVID-19 cases. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected claims to reach 935,000. 

Continuing claims, which track Americans receiving unemployment-insurance payments, fell to 5.1 million for the week that ended January 9. That came in below the median economist estimate of 5.3 million claims.

“Fiscal stimulus prospects, along with broader vaccine diffusion, are pointing to a brightening labor market outlook but with the pandemic still raging, claims are poised to remain elevated in the near-term,” Lydia Boussour, lead US economist at Oxford Economics, said.

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United Airlines sank after its fourth-quarter report missed Wall Street expectations for revenue and profit. The company cautioned that, despite vaccines being distributed nationwide, the pandemic will weigh on travel activity throughout 2021.

Bitcoin slid below the $32,000 support level as sell-offs cut further into the cryptocurrency’s bullish momentum. The token hit a 24-hour low of $31,310.75 before paring some losses.

Gold dipped as much as 0.7%, to $1,858.42 per ounce. The dollar weakened against a basked of Group-of-20 currencies and Treasury yields climbed slightly.

Oil prices fell but remained above the $50 support level. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 1.1%, to $52.75 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, declined 1%, to $55.51 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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Dow drops 200 points as traders mull Biden’s stimulus plan and soft retail-sales data

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  • US stocks sank on Friday as investors digested President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus plan and a December slump in retail sales.
  • Biden rolled out a $1.9 trillion relief proposal on Thursday that includes $1,400 direct payments, state and local government aid, and expanded unemployment benefits.
  • While Democrats’ soft Senate majority increases the odds of a deal being passed, Republican opposition could strip the bill of some elements or push for higher taxes to offset its cost.
  • Retail sales shrank 0.7% in December as COVID-19 lockdowns cut into holiday-season spending, according to Census Bureau data published Friday. Economists expected sales to hold flat from November.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities fell on Friday amid a drop in retail sales and concerns that President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus proposal could lift taxes.

Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion fiscal relief plan on Thursday that includes $1,400 direct payments, expanded federal unemployment benefits, and state and local government aid. Democrats’ victories in Georgia runoff elections greatly improve the party’s chances at passing such a sweeping stimulus measure.

Yet GOP opposition could strip the bill of some components before its passage. Lawmakers could also call for higher taxes to justify the legislation’s hefty price tag, a move that would surely rankle investors hoping for President Donald Trump’s low tax rates to remain in place.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:

Read more: Global X’s lithium and battery ETF returned 126% in 2020 as electric vehicle-driven demand surged. One of the firm’s analysts shared 4 stocks he sees ‘leading the rise’ in the industry going forward.

“The very health of our nation is at stake,” Biden said in a speech revealing the plan, adding that failure to pass a large-scale relief package “will cost us dearly.”

Stocks extended losses after retail sales data showed a third-straight monthly decline to close out last year. Spending at US retailers contracted 0.7% in December as COVID-19 restrictions offset holiday-season sales, according to Census Bureau data published Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected sales to stay flat from the month prior.

November’s reading was revised lower to a 1.4% contraction, suggesting surging coronavirus cases and lockdown measures swiftly cut into a V-shaped rebound in consumer spending.

“This likely is the nadir for retail sales, as the late-December stimulus and the pending stimulus under the Biden administration will boost both bank accounts and consumers’ spirits,” Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said.

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Fourth-quarter earnings kicked off with JPMorgan beating revenue and profit expectations. The bank reported a 42% jump in net income, bolstered by the release of $2.9 billion in loan-loss reserves.

Citigroup reported less-than-stellar results Friday morning. While the bank’s revenue landed above estimates, weaker-than-expected performance in its fixed-income division contributed to a miss on quarterly earnings. The business reported revenue of $3.09 billion over the period, below the consensus expectation of $3.2 billion.

Bitcoin dropped below $38,000 as the cryptocurrency’s volatile trading week came to a close. The token climbed back above $40,000 on Thursday but failed to retake the record highs seen one week ago.

Spot gold slid 0.5%, to $1,836.64 per ounce, at intraday lows. The US dollar strengthened against the majority of Group-of-10 currency peers and Treasury yields declined. 

Oil prices sank as the stronger dollar cut into its recent climb. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.7%, to $52.68 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 1.9%, to $55.37 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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US stocks climb as investors buy Monday’s dip on recovery hopes

trader screen
  • US stocks gained slightly on Tuesday as investors bought Monday’s dip and bet on fresh stimulus and COVID-19 vaccines to fuel a near-term economic rebound.
  • While the Biden administration is set to detail a sweeping fiscal stimulus plan on Thursday, investors continue to weigh whether stocks can remain at their lofty levels.
  • Bitcoin recovered slightly from its Monday nosedive but remains well below the records it hit last week.
  • Oil prices gained as the US dollar weakened against currency peers. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.9%, to $53.26 per barrel.
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US stocks edged higher on Tuesday as investors optimistic for a full economic rebound bought the market’s recent dip.

Hopes for widespread vaccination and Biden-backed stimulus continue to lock horns with stocks’ lofty valuations. Fallout from last week’s violent riots at the Capitol continues to weigh on market sentiments, and Democrats are expected to vote to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Shambolic vaccine distribution across the US has also cut into some investors’ recovery outlooks. CNBC reported Tuesday morning that the Trump administration will issue updated vaccination guidance that expands eligibility to everyone 65-years-old and older. The move comes after some states discarded vaccines instead of using them on ineligible populations.

“Vaccine rollouts have been messy, but as more vaccines get regional approval, risk appetite is thriving as we get closer to the other side of COVID,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

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The mild uptick comes after stocks stumbled to start the week. Equities fell from record highs on Monday as investors weighed the impact of an impeachment vote and stretched valuations. Facebook and Twitter dragged on major indexes as investors balked at the companies’ moves to ban permanently Trump.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses said Tuesday its gauge of small-business optimism plunged to a seven-month low in December as COVID-19 restrictions intensified. Nine of the index’s 10 components declined through the month and the association’s measure of general-business-condition outlook tumbled into net negative territory.

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Bitcoin recovered slightly after plummeting from record highs. The world’s largest cryptocurrency traded at roughly $33,600 on Tuesday, about 1% higher from the prior 24 hours, after sliding as low as $30,305.30 Monday night.

Spot gold climbed as much as 1.1%, to $1,863.81 per ounce, before paring gains. The US dollar weakened slightly against a basket of currency peers and Treasury yields rose.

Oil prices gained amid the US dollar’s decline. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.9%, to $53.26 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, climbed 1.9%, to $56.73 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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Dow, S&P 500 add to records as weak jobs report boosts stimulus expectations

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  • US equities gained on Friday morning as the weak jobs report spurred investors hopes for a larger fiscal stimulus package to boost the economy.
  • American businesses shed 140,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The reading is weaker than consensus economist estimates that foresaw 50,000 job additions, according to Bloomberg data. 
  • “In the face of endless amounts of readily available fiscal and monetary stimulus, the stock market has so far refused to pay attention to the economic data points that matter, like the weak jobs numbers,” James McDonald, Hercules Investments CEO said.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities gained on Friday morning as the weak jobs report prompted investors to hope for a larger fiscal stimulus package to boost the economy.

The US economy saw a surprise decline in payrolls in December as stricter COVID-19 lockdown measures extended the nation’s unemployment crisis into the new year. American businesses shed 140,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The reading is weaker than consensus economist estimates that foresaw 50,000 job additions, according to Bloomberg data. 

The country’s unemployment rate stayed steady at 6.7% in December, slightly lower than the median economist estimate of 6.8%.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:

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“In the face of endless amounts of readily available fiscal and monetary stimulus, the stock market has so far refused to pay attention to the economic data points that matter, like the weak jobs numbers,” James McDonald, Hercules Investments CEO said.

“We expect stock markets to continue to move higher and bond markets to continue to move lower (price down, yields up) as the likelihood of additional fiscal stimulus out of Washington is high and the continued support of the Federal Reserve is likely as well,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. 

Bitcoin hit a new all-time high of more than $41,000 on Friday morning, staging a rapid recovery despite falling to less than $37,000 overnight. The red-hot cryptocurrency has more than doubled in value over the last month, and risen over 30% in 2021 so far.  

Michael Burry, whose lucrative wager on the US housing bubble’s collapse in 2007 was captured in “The Big Short,” tweeted on Thursday that Tesla stock could implode in a similar fashion. 

“Well, my last Big Short got bigger and bigger and BIGGER too,” the Scion Asset Management boss said as Tesla jumped 8%. “Enjoy it while it lasts.”

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Meanwhile, billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya said Tesla’s stock could be worth three times its current valuation, which would make CEO Elon Musk the first trillionaire.

“Don’t sell a share” of Tesla, Palihapitiya told investors in a CNBC interview on Thursday

Gold dipped 2%, to $1,876.51, at intraday lows. The US dollar strengthened against most of its Group-of-10 currency peers, while 10-year Treasury yields climbed further above 1%, where they haven’t been since March.

Oil prices climbed amid a drop in US inventories. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 2%, to $51.83 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 2.1%, to $55.50 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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US stocks close mixed as stimulus optimism clashes with new virus strain

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  • US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday after Congress passed a multitrillion-dollar spending bill that includes $900 billion in new stimulus.
  • The package, which also funds the government through September 30, includes $600 direct payments, $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits, and aid for small businesses. 
  • The fresh fiscal support locked horns with concerns around a new strain of COVID-19 in the UK. The variant’s emergence prompted several European nations to enact travel restrictions on UK visitors.
  • Oil futures fell as investors viewed the new virus strain as a risk to near-term energy demand. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 2.4%, to $46.60 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities closed mixed on Tuesday as investors weighed Monday’s stimulus vote against the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in the UK.

Congress approved the measure Monday night after months of negotiations over additional fiscal support. The bill, which includes $900 billion in new stimulus, funds the government through September 30. The package also includes $600 direct payments, $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits, and funds for the Paycheck Protection Program.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Tuesday:

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The White House has indicated President Donald Trump will sign the bill. Economists have largely backed additional fiscal support, though the slowed pace of economic recovery and rising COVID-19 cases still present sizeable risks.

“The $900 billion fiscal aid package is months late and will likely fall short of what is needed to prevent a rough winter, but it’s better than nothing,” Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, said, adding the measure will “partially buffer the current economic slowdown” while vaccines are distributed.

Enthusiasm toward the new fiscal support was somewhat offset by reports of a new COVID-19 variant in the UK. Several European countries implemented travel restrictions on UK visitors to slow its spread.

Fears were somewhat allayed later in the day after public health experts said Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are likely effective against the new strain. Still, the new restrictions and virus fears threaten to tamper down on already weakened economic activity.

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Economic indicators also flashed some warning signs. US consumer confidence unexpectedly fell to a four-month low this month as surging COVID-19 cases and stricter lockdown measures offset a slight improvement in Americans’ long-term outlooks, Conference Board said Tuesday. The organization’s sentiment gauge fell to 88.6 from 92.9, while economists expected a jump to 97.

The tech and real estate sectors outperformed, while communications-service and energy stocks lagged.

The Nasdaq composite index was lifted by Apple, which extended a late Monday climb following a Reuters report that the iPhone maker aims to produce electric cars by 2024. The news also boosted lidar-sensor producers, as Apple reportedly plans to partner with such firms for its vehicle systems.

Peloton soared after the company inked a deal to buy exercise-equipment company Precor for $420 million. Peloton plans to use Precor’s facilities to boost its manufacturing capacity and cut down on its order backlog.

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Bitcoin rose back above $23,000 after plunging the most in nearly a month on Monday. The cryptocurrency faced pressure after the US Treasury proposed rules that would require exchanges to collect information from users who transfer more than $10,000 to a crypto wallet.

Spot gold erased early gains and fell as much as 1%, to $1,858.97 per ounce, at intraday lows. The US dollar strengthened against all of its Group-of-10 peers and Treasury yields dipped.

Oil prices fell amid fears that the new COVID-19 strain will further cut into demand. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 2.4%, to $46.60 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, declined 2.7%, to $49.56 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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US stocks trade mixed as investors weigh $900 billion stimulus package against renewed virus fears

NYSE traders
  • US stocks traded mixed on Tuesday after Congress passed a multitrillion-dollar spending bill that includes $900 billion in new stimulus.
  • The package, which also funds the government through September 30, includes $600 direct payments, $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits, and aid for small businesses. 
  • Investors are weighing the bill’s passage against concerns around a new strain of the coronavirus in the UK.
  • Oil futures fell as investors viewed the new virus variant as a risk to near-term energy demand. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 2.9%, to $46.60 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities edged higher on Tuesday after Congress passed a $2.3 trillion bill that included government funding and a new tranche of stimulus measures.

Lawmakers approved the measure Monday night after months of negotiations over additional fiscal support. The bill, which includes $900 billion in new stimulus, funds the government through September 30. The package also includes $600 direct payments, $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits, and funds for the Paycheck Protection Program.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Tuesday:

Read more: Brooke de Boutray has beaten 99% of her peers over the last 5 years and runs a fund that is up 148% in 2020. She shared with us 4 stocks she’s most bullish on heading into 2021.

The White House has indicated President Donald Trump will sign the bill. Economists have largely backed additional fiscal support, though the slowed pace of economic recovery and rising COVID-19 cases still present sizeable risks.

“The $900 billion fiscal aid package is months late and will likely fall short of what is needed to prevent a rough winter, but it’s better than nothing,” Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, said, adding the measure will “partially buffer the current economic slowdown” while vaccines are distributed.

The mixed trading follows a mild decline across indexes on Monday. Stocks fell to start the week amid concerns around a new strain of the coronavirus emerging in the UK. Several European countries implemented travel restrictions on UK visitors.

Fears were somewhat allayed later in the day after public health experts said Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are likely effective against the new strain.

Read more: BANK OF AMERICA: Buy these 16 medtech stocks with strong fundamentals that are set to soar post-pandemic

The Nasdaq composite index was lifted by Apple, which extended a late Monday climb following a Reuters report that the iPhone maker aims to produce electric cars by 2024. The news also boosted lidar-sensor producers, as Apple reportedly plans to partner with such firms for its vehicle systems.

Peloton soared after the company inked a deal to buy exercise-equipment company Precor for $420 million. Peloton plans to use Precor’s facilities to boost its manufacturing capacity and cut down on its order backlog.

Bitcoin rose back above $23,000 after plunging the most in nearly a month on Monday. The cryptocurrency faced pressure after the US Treasury proposed rules that would require exchanges to collect information from users who transfer more than $10,000 to a crypto wallet.

Spot gold gained as much as 0.4%, to $1,884.33 per ounce, at intraday highs. The US dollar wavered against a basket of currency peers and Treasury yields dipped.

Oil prices fell amid fears that the new COVID-19 strain will further cut into demand. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 2.9%, to $46.60 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, declined 2.7%, to $49.56 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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US stocks dip as stimulus hopes waver and jobless claims hit 11-week high

Worried trader
  • US stocks edged lower on Thursday amid disappointing economic data and slowed stimulus progress.
  • New US weekly jobless claims jumped to an unadjusted 853,000 for the week that ended Saturday, handily exceeding the 725,000 estimate. The reading also marks the highest total in 11 weeks.
  • Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over a new fiscal relief package. The House voted Wednesday night to fund the government for an additional week and buy more time for stimulus negotiations.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration will evaluate Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on Thursday and vote on whether its benefits outweigh its risks for use in people at least 16 years old.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks fell slightly on Thursday as jobless claims leaped to unexpected highs and Congress hit a new snag in stimulus negotiations.

New filings for unemployment benefits climbed to an unadjusted 853,000 for the week that ended Saturday, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a reading of 725,000 claims. The jump places claims at their highest level in 11 weeks and marks a sharp reversal from the previous week’s revised total of 716,000.

Continuing claims, which track Americans receiving unemployment benefits, jumped to 5.8 million for the week that ended November 28. That similarly came in above economist forecasts and marked the first weekly increase since August.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:

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“The jump in weekly unemployment claims was partially due to a rebound from lower claims during Thanksgiving week, but the trend of more Americans losing jobs is clearly rising over the last month,” Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said.

On the stimulus front, Democratic and Republican leaders remain at odds over key elements of their respective proposals. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a package that omitted pandemic-related liability protections for businesses and state and local government aid. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi balked at the proposal, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasized the need for more state and local relief.

The House voted Wednesday night to fund the government for another week and buy extra time for stimulus talks.

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The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite underperformed peer indexes as Facebook slid lower. The social media giant fell after the US Federal Trade Commission filed lawsuits that could force Facebook to divest Instagram and WhatsApp.

The US Food and Drug Administration convened to evaluate Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. A panel will vote on Thursday on whether the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks for use in people at least 16 years old.

Airbnb is set to begin trading on Thursday after raising $3.5 billion in its initial public offering. The debut comes after DoorDash shares nearly doubled in the company’s first day of public trading.

Bitcoin fell to a 24-hour low of $18,021.45 before bouncing back above $18,100. The token has steadily trended lower after hitting record highs in early December.

Read more: Morgan Stanley is warning that the stock market’s economic recovery trade may soon be over. Here are 4 strategies they recommend for finding the returns that still exist.

Gold edged as much as 0.4% higher, to $1,847.75 per ounce. The US dollar weakened against a basket of Group-of-20 currencies and Treasury yields fell. 

Oil prices gained on vaccine hopes. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.8%, to $46.33 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped 1.9%, to $49.77 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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