Record closes for each major index
17-Dec-20 16:15 ET
Dow +148.83 at 30303.31, Nasdaq +106.56 at 12764.66, S&P +21.31 at 3722.49 https://www.briefing.com/stock-market-update
[BRIEFING.COM] Each of the major indices closed at record highs on Thursday, as the market continued to ride its positive trend in a relatively calm session. The Russell 2000 rose 1.3% and extended its recent outperformance over the S&P 500 (+0.6%), Nasdaq Composite (+0.8%), and Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.5%).
Nine of the 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory with real estate (+1.2%), materials (+1.2%), and health care (+1.1%) taking the top spots today. The energy (-0.6%) and communication services (-0.3%) sectors were the lone holdouts, with the latter pressured by weakness in AT&T (T 29.62, -0.68, -2.2%) following an analyst downgrade at Morgan Stanley.
Yesterday's affirmation of the Fed's highly-accommodative monetary policy had a lingering effect on market action today. Namely, investors felt emboldened to overlook relatively disappointing weekly initial claims data while the U.S. Dollar Index (89.82, -0.63, -0.7%) fell to its lowest level since April 2018.
The weaker dollar contributed to decent performances in foreign equities, oil prices ($48.33/bbl, +$0.50, +1.1%), precious metals, and crypto currencies, although energy stocks evidently did not rise with the higher oil prices.
In the homebuilding space, stocks benefited from better-than-expected housing starts and building permits data for November, which featured a 27.1% yr/yr increase in single-family starts, and positive earnings results and encouraging guidance from Lennar (LEN 79.95, +5.66, +7.6%). The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB 57.78, +2.17, +3.9%) increased 4%.
U.S. Treasuries edged lower in a relatively uneven session, as investors contemplated a 23,000 increase in weekly initial claims to 885,000 (Briefing.com consensus 795,000) and the incoming new supply of Treasuries needed to finance a potential stimulus bill. The 2-yr yield increased one basis point to 0.13%, and the 10-yr yield increased one basis point to 0.93%.
Reviewing Thursday's economic data:
Initial claims for the week ending December 12 increased by 23,000 to 885,000 (Briefing.com consensus 795,000). Continuing claims for the week ending December 5 decreased by 273,000 to 5.508 million, which was the lowest level since March.
The key takeaway from the report is that the jump in initial claims underscores the real, and adverse, economic impact of the latest surge in coronavirus cases and the business restrictions imposed to help contain the spread.
Housing starts increased 1.2% m/m in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.547 million (Briefing.com consensus 1.530 million). Building permits increased 6.2% m/m to 1.639 million (Briefing.com consensus 1.550 million).
The key takeaway from the report is that the starts and permits growth was driven largely by multi-unit dwellings; however, single-unit starts and permits were up 0.4% and 0.9%, respectively, which belies robust year-over-year growth of 27.1% and 22.2%.
The Philadelphia Fed Index dropped to 11.1 in December (Briefing.com consensus 19.0) from 26.3 in November.
Looking ahead, investors will receive the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for November and the Q3 Current Account Balance.
Nasdaq Composite +42.3% YTD
Russell 2000 +18.6% YTD
S&P 500 +15.2% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +6.2% YTD
Dow 30303.31 +148.83 (0.49%)
Nasdaq 12764.66 +106.56 (0.84%)
SP 500 3722.49 +21.31 (0.58%)
10-yr Note -2/32 0.937
NYSE Adv 2058 Dec 1035 Vol 958.8 mln
Nasdaq Adv 2467 Dec 1166 Vol 4.9 bln
Strong: Materials, Health Care, Real Estate
Weak: Energy, Communication Services
Moving the Market
-- Major indices close at fresh record highs in continuation of positive trend
-- Relative weakness in energy stocks
-- Weaker dollar lifts oil prices and precious metals
Energy stocks down despite higher oil prices
17-Dec-20 15:25 ET
Dow +136.82 at 30291.30, Nasdaq +84.73 at 12742.83, S&P +19.33 at 3720.51
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 is trading higher by 0.5% and is vying for a record close.
One last look at the S&P 500 sectors shows materials (+1.1%), real estate (+1.1%), utilities (+1.1%) leading the advance with 1.1% gains, while the energy (-0.4%) and communication services (-0.4%) sectors remain in negative territory with 0.4% losses.
Energy stocks are struggling despite higher oil prices. WTI crude futures increased 1.1%, or $0.50, to $48.33/bbl.