Daily market review

United States

Equities edged up and ended at their best levels of the day Thursday, with defensive sectors faring best in mostly convictionless trading. The Dow Jones industrial index rose 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent, and the NASDAQ 100 firmed 0.1 percent.

Among sectors, leading were defensives -- utilities and real estate -- plus financials, health care, and communications services, with Netflix up 3.1 percent and Google up 0.7 percent as they rebounded from declines on Wednesday. Lagging were energy, consumer discretionary, technology.

Among companies in focus, Tribune Publishing gained 7 percent on news it would be acquired by a shareholder. ELF Beauty, the cosmetics brand, rose 7.3 percent, and Celsius Holdings, the beverage company, gained 13 percent on news they both would join the S&P SmallCap 600 index.

On the downside, Fubo TV fell 16 percent on an analyst downgrade. WPX Energy, the natural gas driller, fell 2.3 percent, and Devon Energy fell 2 percent on news they would merge.

In US economic news, jobless claims decreased by 19,000 to 787,000 in the week ended December 26, below Econoday's consensus forecast of 830,000. It is unclear whether the Christmas holiday delayed applications to the following week. The unexpected decline was not enough to bring down the four-week moving average, which rose 17,750 to 836,750, its fourth consecutive increase and the highest since the October 3 week.

These price data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET: Dated Brent spot crude oil rose 34 cents to US$51.80 while spot gold rose US$4.94 to US$1,897.33. The US dollar was mixed against major currencies. The US Treasury 30-year bond yield eased 1 basis point to 1.65 percent while the 10-year note eased 1 basis point to 0.92 percent.


Tightening UK lockdowns and expectations for an extension to lockdowns in Germany weighed on equities Thursday. The Europe-wide STOXX 600 eased 0.3 percent, the French CAC fell 0.9 percent, and the UK FTSE-100 was off 1.5 percent. Germany was on holiday.

On the positive side for markets: the rollout of new vaccines in the UK. Additionally, news that the EU and China had agreed on a trade pact suggested new export opportunities for EU producers.

Among sectors, lagging most were travel and leisure plus food and beverage stocks underperformed. Holding up best were financial services, retail, and health care

Among companies in focus, Airbus fell 1.2 percent after US trade officials raised tariffs on several EU exports, including aircraft and wine.

Asia Pacific

The Shanghai Composite index closed up 1.7 percent Thursday, with sentiment supported by an investment deal between China and the EU, and PMI survey data showing Chinese economic conditions remain strong. The CFLP manufacturing PMI index fell from 52.1 in November to 51.9 in December, above the consensus forecast of 51.5 and indicating that the sector is continuing to grow at a pace stronger than that seen before the Covid-19 pandemic. The non-manufacturing PMI index fell from 56.4 to 55.7, also indicating that the sector is expanding at a pace well above the average seen in recent years.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 0.3 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries index fell 1.3 percent, with trading closing early in both markets ahead of new year holidays. Japanese markets were closed Thursday.

Global Stock Market Recap

Global Bond Market Recap

Global Currency Recap

Commodities and currencies

Looking forward