Wednesday November 25th


Dow futures fall slightly a day after the average soars past 30,000

U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Wednesday a day after the benchmark topped a significant milestone. Dow futures fell 50 points, or 0.2%. The move pointed to an opening loss of about 60 points. S&P 500 futures fell 0.1%. Nasdaq 100 futures were slightly higher. The blue-chip Dow broke above 30,000 for the first time on Tuesday, rallying more than 400 points. Tuesday’s rally put the Dow on pace for its biggest monthly gain since 1987, up more than 13%. “The Dow passing 30,000 represents the achievement of an arbitrarily-set milestone, but it also captures the sentiment of the moment for investors,” said Scott Knapp, chief market strategist at CUNA Mutual Group. Small caps also closed at a record high, with the Russell 2000 surging nearly 2%. That gain put the Russell up more than 20% for November, which would be its best-ever monthly performance. The S&P 500, meanwhile, posted an all-time closing high on Tuesday, rising 1.6%. The market’s rally to record highs comes amid positive vaccine news coupled with increasing political clarity. Earlier this week, AstraZeneca said an early analysis showed its vaccine candidate had an average efficacy of 70%. Meanwhile, the Trump administration made federal resources available to President-elect Joe Biden’s team for his transition into office. Traders have also cheered the prospects of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen potentially being nominated for Treasury secretary. Those moves also came as traders continue to pile into beaten-down value stocks. The iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) rose 2.1% on Tuesday and is up more than 15% for the month. Its growth counterpart, the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF), climbed 1.1% for the day and has advanced 8.7% in November. Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for the Independent Advisor Alliance, said value’s gains recently are “notable” because they come “despite the negative news flow of Covid cases surging around the country and lockdowns again being imposed in various parts of the nation.” The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. now tops 12.4 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Still, “we remain constructive [on the market overall] from now until the end of the year, given the typical seasonal effects into year-end,” Zaccarelli added. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday as a recent rally bolstered by coronavirus vaccine hopes and reduced uncertainty in U.S. politics paused. Mainland Chinese stocks led losses among the region’s major markets: The Shanghai composite dropped 1.19% to close at approximately 3,362.33 while the Shenzhen component slipped 1.773% to about 13,656.09. South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, dipped 0.62% to close at 2,601.54. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to close at 26,296.86 while the Topix index gained 0.3% to end its trading day at 1,767.67. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong advanced 0.31% to close at 26,669.75. Oil rose for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, shrugging off an industry report showing a higher-than-unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and extending a rally driven by hopes that a Covid-19 vaccine will boost fuel demand. Brent crude was up 35 cents, or 0.7%, at $48.17 a barrel, having risen almost 4% in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 28 cents, or 0.6%, to $45.20 a barrel, after rising more than 4% on Tuesday. Both contracts are at their highest since early March and have rallied nearly 10% in the last four days. Gold edged higher on Wednesday after retreating in previous sessions, with a weaker dollar helping to offset a shift to equities and other riskier assets on hopes that coronavirus vaccines will spur economic recovery. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,810.56 an ounce, having hit its lowest since July 17 at $1,800.01 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,806.60.