US stocks rise at the beginning of short stocks


US stocks opened more on the last trading day of the holiday-week, with investors focused on prospects for additional fiscal support and indicating an economic slowdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61 points, or 0.2%, soon after the opening bell. The S&P 500 gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite also gained 0.2%.

Markets will close on Christmas Eve, with the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq scheduled to end trading at 1 pm ET. US and European markets will remain closed on Friday.

Investors have been focused on a string of issues this week, including the possibility of coronovirus-relief legislation and signs of rebound faltering. Advanced coronavirus infection levels and a new version of the Kovid-19 emerging in the UK have prompted concerns that additional lockdown measures may occur in the winter months, weighing market sentiment.

The markets are scheduled to close at 1 pm ET, and will be closed for Christmas on Friday.


Photo:

jeenah moon / reuters

“The market is on edge right now. People are worried about more lockdowns, more travel restrictions, ”said Altaf Kassam, head of investment strategy for State Street Global Advisors in Europe. “This will continue the market boom.”

A fresh fiscal-stimulus package will aid families and small businesses in the coming days after President Trump on Wednesday called for a $ 740.5 billion defense-policy bill to be halted and a last-minute change in coronavirus-relief legislation. His unexpected criticism of the bill has led to another deadlock between the White House and Capitol Hill. Mr. Trump has not yet said whether he will veto the aid package.

Weak recent economic data has raised hopes among investors that an agreement will be reached on the aid package. Data released on Wednesday showed that household spending declined for the first time in seven months, and layoffs remained as an increase in virus cases weighed on the economic recovery.

“The market is certainly expecting to undergo an aid package,” Mr. Kasam said.

In the bond trail, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined from 0.953% to 0.943% on Wednesday. Yields decline as bond prices rise.

The continental stocks of foreign continents declined 0.2% in Europe in the markets of Germany, Italy as of Monday.

The British pound rose against the dollar and the euro, as the UK and European Union came close after the Brexit trade deal. Investors have said that they would welcome greater clarity on trade relations. The UK’s stock benchmark, the FTSE 100 index, closed up 0.1%, while the FTSE 250, which focuses on small and midsize companies, finished the day 1.2% higher.

Sterling has rallied in recent times as investors hoped a deal would happen. “The market already had this as a base case,” said Andreas Steno Larsen, a global foreign exchange and fixed-income strategist in the Nordia market. “I don’t think anyone really believed the rock-edge landscape.”

The Turkish lira gained about 1% against the dollar by the Turkish central bank raising its benchmark one-week repo rate from 15%. The currency has been one of the worst performers this year, losing its fifth value against the dollar, and investors became concerned that attempts to defend it were untenable.

“You can already see that the lira has stabilized,” said Nikolay Markov, a senior economist at Portet Asset Management. This is “an indication that investor sentiment was better than a month earlier than the earlier growth rate.”

Most of Asia’s major share indices closed higher. Kospi of South Korea advanced 1.7%, while Nikkei of Japan advanced 225%. China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.6%.

Write Caitlin Ostroff at [email protected]

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