Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Home prices continue to climb. While some industries continue to struggle during the pandemic, housing data in the United States (US) remains a strong point of the US economy. Standard & Poor’s 20-city composite of home prices rose by the most since 2014 in October as the pandemic continues to steer consumer behavior toward single-family housing. We take a look at the boom in housing in today’s LPL Research blog.
Stocks point higher. The S&P 500 Index opened modestly higher after Tuesday’s early strength was met with selling pressure as prospects for enhanced stimulus payments faded.
- European stocks are slightly lower in midday trading.
- Asian markets finished mixed, with the tech-heavy Hang Seng index
Economic roundup. The economic calendar for the holiday-shortened week includes:
- Wednesday: Wholesale Inventories (Nov.), Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI, Dec.), and Pending Home Sales (Nov.)
- Thursday: Initial Unemployment Claims
January 1, 2021: LPL Financial and the stock and bond markets will be closed January 1.
Technical update. The Russell 2000 fell nearly 2% Tuesday, despite just modest losses for the large cap indexes. Despite the drop, the Russell 2000 remains on track for not only its best quarter ever, but its best ever quarter vs. large caps, outperforming the S&P 500 by more than 17% in Q4. Technicals suggest pullbacks in small-caps should be bought amid the strong uptrend and following the breakout above the 2018 highs at 1742.
COVID-19 news. The US reported 194,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday (source: COVID Tracking Project), the first day above the 7-day average since December 26, perhaps suggesting holiday-related delays in testing and reporting data are passing.
- New daily hospitalizations have surpassed the 5,000 mark for the first time since December 18
- United Kingdom (UK) cases per million has once again surpassed the US as they continue to battle a more contagious strain of the virus
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