The major indices are all sporting considerable gains at midday, with the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Nasdaq all hitting new multi-month highs in early trading. The continued COVID-related optimism remains the main catalyst behind the rally in stocks and global risk assets and investors shrugged off the diplomatic standoff between the U.S. and China despite the protests in Hong Kong over the weekend. On another note, small-caps have been leading the way higher this morning, together with the key cyclical sectors and that bodes well for the rest of the week, especially as the main overseas indices have also been pushing higher this week.
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New Home Sales Smash Expectations
The CB consumer confidence number came in at 86.6 slightly below the consensus estimate but above its previous reading, and most analysts think that we have already seen the bottom in the consumer economy. New home sales smashed expectations, ticking higher in the face of the economic troubles, and while the Housing Price Index narrowly missed, the housing market still seems to be weathering the COVID-storm relatively well. Treasury yields are higher across the curve thanks to the bullish investor sentiment, while the dollar’s weakness is also confirming the global risk rally.
Dow: 25,075, + 610 or 2.5%
S&P 500: 3,007 + 52 or 1.7%
Nasdaq: 9,397, + 126 or 0.8%
Russell 2000: 1,400, + 44 or 3.3%
Market breadth has been very strong this morning thanks to the broad push higher, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by a 15-to-1 ratio on the NYSE at midday. No stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 97 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The Dow and the S&P 500 have been hovering around their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) throughout the morning session, with the Nasdaq notably underperforming, suggesting a choppy and mixed afternoon session. The most lockdown-sensitive issues and other cyclicals have been showing relative strength in early trading and financials, in particular, made bulls smile, hitting their highest levels in almost a month, with industrials and the energy and real estate sectors also fueling the broad rally. Stay tuned!