Commenting on the British retail sales number and trading at mid day, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
The major indices are all trading higher at midday following another quiet and choppy morning session on Wall Street. Risk assets ticked higher overnight thanks to the upbeat economic indicators and the positive reports regarding the state of the trade relations between the U.S. and China. While the recent diplomatic skirmish between the two countries put the "phase one" trade deal in jeopardy, the Chinese side took steps to fulfill the agreed agricultural purchases.
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Better Than Expected British Retail Sales Number Help Boost Stocks
The number of new COVID cases declined substantially compared to yesterday’s new record and that fueled a bounce in the most lockdown-sensitive issues. The domestic economic calendar was virtually empty this morning, but the much better-than-expected British retail sales number gave a lift to stocks across the globe in pre-market trading. The European Union’s (EU) economic summit also started, but for now, we have no new information regarding the EU’s historic stimulus package.
Dow: 26,226, + 146 or 0.6%
S&P 500: 3,134, + 18 or 0.6%
Nasdaq: 10,025, + 82 or 0.8x%
Russell 2000: 1,442, + 15 or 1.1%
Market breadth has been in line with the performance of the major indices this morning, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by a 7-to-3 ratio on the NYSE. Only 2 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 102 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been hovering around their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) throughout the morning session, pointing to a mixed and choppy afternoon. Despite the gains at the level of the large-cap benchmarks, defensive issues have been showing relative strength in early trading, together with tech stocks, and since industrials and financials have been lagging slightly, the risk-on shift is not yet complete. Stay tuned!