Daily market review

United States

Traders bought the dip Monday after last week's losses, with mega-caps and technology leading the way. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.8 percent, the S&P 500 gained 1.6 percent and NASDAQ 100 jumped 2.6 percent.

The market retained a cautious feel, with the FAANGs showing the most strength. Best performing were information technology, consumer discretionary, utilities, and real estate, while lagging were energy, consumer staples, and materials.

On a day that GameStop pulled back 32 percent, silver futures ended US trading up about 9 percent as the online retail trading frenzy shifted into the metals space, and Reddit-fueled retail investors squared off again vs. professionals holding short positions. Fresnillo, the Mexican silver miner, rose 10 percent. U.S. Gold, the miner, rose 3.7 percent.

Among stocks in focus, Google rose 3.6 percent, Twitter gained 4.2 percent, and Facebook was up 1.4 percent. Tesla rose 5.8 percent to give consumer discretionary stocks a boost after Piper Sandler raised its price target. Thermo Fisher, the lab equipment maker, rose 1.1 on an earnings beat. Microsoft rose 3.3 percent and Intel was up 2.1 percent. On the downside, Walgreen's was off 2.8 percent and Dupont fell 8 percent after an acquisition.

These price data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET: Dated Brent spot crude oil rose 53 cents to US$56.41 while spot gold rose US$16.06 to US$1,858.93. The US dollar rose against major currencies. The US Treasury 30-year bond yield was unchanged at 1.84 percent while the 10-year note was unchanged at 1.07 percent.


Mining stocks led equities higher Monday as markets staged a recovery from last week's steep losses. The Europe-wide STOXX 600 rose 1.2 percent, the German DAX rose 1.4 percent, the French CAC gained 1.2 percent, and the UK FTSE-100 was up 0.9 percent.

Among sectors, technology, financial services, basic resources, industrials, travel & leisure, and construction outperformed. Lagging were oil & gas, banks, autos, telecom, and real estate.

Silver prices surged as silver became the latest battle between online retail traders against institutions holding short positions in the precious metal. Miners Glencore, up 1.4 percent, and Anglo American, up 3.2 percent, were winners.

Among stocks in the news, Valneva, the vaccine supplier, rose 13 percent on news the UK would exercise its option to buy Covid vaccines. On the downside, Julius Baer, the Swiss bank, fell 2.3 percent on an earnings miss.

On the negative side for markets, disputes between the EU and pharma companies over the provision of vaccines remained a concern, along with downbeat German economic data.

In economic news, German retail sales plunged by 9.6 percent on the month in December, the first fall since September and 3.4 percentage points sharper than seen in the worst month during the first virus wave. Following a 1.1 percent increase in November, the slump put annual growth at 1.5 percent, down from 5.0 percent in mid-quarter, and left purchases 3 percent below their pre-pandemic level last February.

Asia Pacific

Equities rebounded Monday on bargain-hunting following last week's declines, with Hong Kong leading the gains on good buying in technology, health care, and commodity-linked stocks.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 2.2 percent as investment flows resumed from the Mainland, with Tencent up 4.5 percent to lead tech stocks higher. CanSino Biologics, the vaccine maker, rose 17 percent on favorable clinical trial results for its Covid vaccine.

China's Shanghai composite rose 0.6 percent on bargain-hunting despite lingering tight financial conditions reflecting stingy provision of liquidity from the People's Bank of China.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.6 percent as semiconductors recovered some recent losses. The broader Topix rose 1.2 percent. Nippon Express, the logistics company rose 9 percent on an earnings beat.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8 percent with support from a rally in precious metals prices. Some of the metals gains reflected a short squeeze in silver futures powered by Reddit-inspired online retail traders. Miners, banks, and health care stocks led the advance. CSL, the Australian vaccine manufacturer, rose 2.3 percent.

In economic news, the Caixan Chinese Manufacturing PMI fell for the second consecutive month, dropping from 53.0 in December to 51.5 in January, indicating that the sector's recovery from the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic remains solid but has lost some momentum. The official CFLP manufacturing PMI survey, published over the weekend, also showed a fall from 51.9 in December to 51.3 in January.

Looking ahead*

On Tuesday in Asia/Pacific, the Reserve Bank of Australia policy announcement is due, plus the Korean CPI report. In Europe, UK Nationwide house price index, French CPI, Italian GDP, and Eurozone GDP flash reports are due. In North America, US motor vehicle sales are on tap.

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