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WKLY ROUND-UP THRU DEC 25th 2020; Running of the Bulls

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you are all having a great day with family and friends and will enjoy this holiday weekend.

In this shortened Holiday Round-Up I spent a few minutes showcasing our Option Master’s Education series and I hope you like it. Enjoy!


• The major benchmarks ended mixed as investors absorbed conflicting signals about fiscal stimulus and progress in fighting the coronavirus. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index and the smaller-cap benchmarks reached new intraday highs, while the large-cap benchmarks lagged… News of a new and apparently more transmissible coronavirus strain in the UK started the trading week off on a decidedly down note, with stock futures lower by over 3% on Monday morning. The market shrugged off its losses as trading began, however, with investors seemingly calmed by reassurances from U.S. health officials that the new strain did not appear more deadly and would likely be treatable by the vaccines…
• Trump surprised many by echoing complaints from Democrats that the amount was too small, proposing instead direct payments of USD 2,000. On Thursday, House Republicans blocked efforts to increase the level of payments through a unanimous consent motion. Investors took the last-minute complication in stride, appearing to conclude that the president would sign the bill regardless…
• Waning levels of government assistance appeared partly responsible for a 1.1% decline in household incomes in November, reported on Wednesday by the Commerce Department. Household spending also dropped by 0.4%, the first decline since April. Relatedly, the Conference Board reported that its measure of consumer confidence fell to a four-month low, while weekly jobless claims declined more than expected but remained elevated at 805,000. The robust housing sector showed continued signs of cooling, with existing home sales falling more than expected (2.5%) in November. Durable goods orders increased by 0.9% in November, above consensus, but core capital goods orders—excluding aircraft and defense orders—missed expectations and rose only 0.4%. Previous months’ gains were revised higher, however.
• The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell slightly for the week as investors weighed the mixed economic data, news on the coronavirus, and reports that a Brexit trade agreement was in sight…investment-grade corporate bond spreads—the extra yield offered over Treasuries and an inverse measure of the sector’s relative appeal—widened on Monday as headlines regarding a new variant of the coronavirus weakened sentiment…
• he UK and the EU finally agreed on a post-Brexit trade deal, with the announcement coming after UK markets closed. The accord still must be approved by all EU member states. The agreement’s terms would represent a significant change in the relationship with the UK’s major trading partner and, some say, amounts to a “hard” Brexit in all but name. The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that Brexit will cost the UK 4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) over 15 years…

Weekly Round-Up;

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