Most stocks rose Thursday – continuing the rally in vaccine markets this month – but traders have been cautious about viral infections around the world forcing governments to put containment measures in place.
With at least three vaccinations in the pipeline, potentially rolling out within weeks, the general sentiment on the retail floor is optimistic for 2021, but a new set of data from the US underscored the immediate impact of the disease and the long way ahead for economies.
And notes from the Federal Reserve’s last political meeting warned that the country’s recovery would be more difficult without a new stimulus package.
Official figures showed that jobless claims rose for a second straight week as businesses suffered a sharp surge in new infections and deaths that hit several major cities, including New York and Los Angeles , Bars and restaurants are closed.
The readings gave retailers a dose of reality after weeks of buying in response to vaccine successes and Joe Biden’s election victory.
“The data. . . indicated that the US recovery slowed as government support programs expired and that the massive spike in Covid-19 is infecting the real economy, ”OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley said.
The crisis elsewhere was exposed when Britain warned of its worst annual slump in over three centuries, with the economy contracting 11. 3 percent in 2020.
The Dow and S&P 500 ended lower Wednesday after hitting records the previous day, while the Nasdaq hit a new all-time high as the tech companies – who have benefited from forcing people to stay home – rose.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Mumbai, Taipei, Jakarta and Bangkok all rose, but Sydney, Singapore, Manila and Wellington lost.
Nevertheless, the analysts were positive about the outlook. Xi Qiao of UBS Global Wealth Management said, “We believe the market rally can continue from here, fueled by all the positive vaccine news, more political clarity with a peaceful transition to the White House, and more inspiration to come.
« We are already seeing a strong rotation in cyclical and reopened vaccine news stores and we expect this trend to continue. ». ”
But Fed officials are concerned that the US economy will continue to suffer in pain unless lawmakers agree on a new bailout deal. The minutes show that no action would create « significant difficulties for a number of households ». .
Board members viewed the spike in Covid-19 cases as a « downside risk to the recovery » while some noted that the deteriorating opportunities for a new spending plan « increased downside risks and increased uncertainty about the economic outlook ». .
Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said the minutes slightly disappointed investors as they gave no indication of when the bank might come up with new measures to ease monetary policy.
Most observers, however, said the flagging economic data would most likely push the Fed to make an announcement soon, possibly next month.
Oil prices added to their profits – after rising nearly 30 percent this month – and the introduction of vaccines raised hopes of a surge in demand as life returns to normal.
Stocks, Vaccines, Federal Reserve System, Stock Market
World News – CA – Markets are on the up for the most part, but coronavirus and weak data keep traders cautious
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