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Stocks Advance, Treasuries Fall in Light Volumes: Markets Wrap

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Stocks Advance, Treasuries Fall in Light Volumes: Markets Wrap

  • Ten-year Treasury yields edge higher; dollar little changed
  • Europe shares flat; pound extends drop, boosting U.K. stocks
UBS’s Gareth McCartney discusses the current state of markets and where he sees them heading in 2020.

U.S. stocks edged to fresh record highs in light trading as investors chased gains that have added more than $5 trillion to valuations this year. Treasuries declined.

The S&P 500 gained for the eighth time in nine sessions, notching another all-time high after China said it cut tariffs on a wide range of goods. The holiday week took a toll on the benchmark’s volume, which was more than 20% below its 100-day average for most of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average paced indexes as Boeing Co. surged after the company ousted Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg.

Ten-year Treasury yields rose to around 1.93%, 16 basis points higher than where it started the month. The dollar headed for only its fourth monthly decline of the year, while the pound padded its worst week in more than two years amid Brexit fears.

S&P up eight times in nine sessions

“It’s a combination of low volume but also the fact that you’ve seen some progress with China, and it’s really causing the bulls to jump in here,” Dunkin Allison, director of portfolio management at Delegate Advisors, said by phone. “We don’t see a lot of selling pressure today.”

Major asset classes are collectively on track for the best returns in a decade in 2019 after central banks around the world eased monetary policy. Trade tensions have also eased ahead of the year-end, calming investors’ nerves. The signing of the first-phase of the U.S.-China trade deal is set for January.

Meanwhile, Chinese shares dropped after a state-backed fund said it would pare its stakes in some tech companies.

Here are some events to watch for this week:

  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hosts a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in Tuesday in Chengdu, focused on trade.
  • Most stock markets close Wednesday for Christmas. Australia, Canada, Germany and U.K. markets also shut on Dec. 26.
  • U.S. jobless claims on Thursday.
  • Japan retail sales and industrial production are scheduled for Friday.
  • China industrial profits also on Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index gained 0.1% as of 4 p.m. in New York.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed.
  • The U.K.‘s FTSE 100 Index advanced 0.5%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.3%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
  • The euro increased 0.1% to $1.1092.
  • The British pound declined 0.4% to $1.2944.
  • The Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 109.36 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 1.93%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield gained less than one basis point to -0.24%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield sank one basis point to 0.771%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5% at $60.73 a barrel.
  • Gold added 0.6% to $1,489.30 an ounce.

— With assistance by Todd White, and Robert Brand

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