Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Jobless Claims Beat
Weekly jobless claims halted their recent skid as 803,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance according to the US Department of Labor, ahead of Bloomberg consensus estimates of 880,000. Continuing claims also beat expectations, with 5.34 million remaining on unemployment versus Bloomberg estimates of 5.56 million.
Stocks little changed. President Donald Trump has raised issues with the bipartisan stimulus agreement and threatened a veto, although the stimulus package can proceed with a veto-proof majority if he refuses to sign it.
- S&P 500 Index futures reversed overnight losses as traders assessed the risks to the stimulus bill.
- European stocks are higher as Brexit negotiations provide clarity on trade agreements.
- Asian stocks snap a three-day losing streak as Korean markets outperform.
The Santa Claus Rally. December’s well-known Santa Claus Rally is the final five trading days of the year and first two of the following year. These historically bullish seven days start December 24—which could mean there’s one final push higher for stocks in 2020. We look at this phenomenon on today’s LPL Research blog.
Kwanzaa begins December 26. Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African-American culture, begins December 26 and lasts through January 1, 2021.
Technical update. A 2.8% gain from Apple led the NASDAQ to a 0.5% advance on Tuesday, despite the Dow Jones Industrial Averages and S&P 500 falling on the day. Small caps also advanced, extending their quarter-to-date lead on large caps to more than 20%, by far the most on record.
COVID-19 news. The United States reported 195,000 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, down 1.9% week over week (source: Johns Hopkins). Adjusted for California, US cases are trending lower.
- California and Tennessee remain hot spots, with Tennessee having the highest cases per million in the nation.
- Free intensive care unit capacity in California is at only 1.4%.
- The United Kingdom is still grappling with a surge in new COVID-19 cases despite heightened restrictions in London.
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