Commenting on Steven Mnuchin’s decision to discontinue emergency lending programs and today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
The major indices are mixed and flat at midday following another choppy but active morning session on Wall Street with the Nasdaq outperforming its peers yet again. While Pfizer (PFE, +1.3%) confirmed that it will apply for the emergency authorization of their vaccine candidate today, lockdown-sensitive issues remain under pressure due to the worrisome COVID trends. The number of infections and hospitalizations both hit another record high in the past 24 hours, and fatalities are now also exceeding the numbers seen during the summer wave of outbreaks with most U.S. states still reporting exponential growth.
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Mnuchin To Discontinue Several Emergency Lending Programs
While the domestic economic calendar was empty this morning, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s decision to discontinue several emergency lending programs led to active trading overnight. While the Secretary told the press that there is “plenty of ammunition” left to boost growth and the stimulus talks are set to resume between the two parties soon, small-caps suffered a small hit in early trading and Treasury yields edged lower as safe-haven flows intensified. Despite the pullback of the past few days, the large-cap benchmarks remain within striking distance of their all-time highs, and volatility is encouragingly low ahead of the weekend break.
Dow: 29,394, - 89 or 0.3%
S&P 500: 3,577 - 5 or 0.1%
Nasdaq: 11,925, + 20 or 0.2%
Russell 2000: 1,777, - 7 or 0.4%
Market breadth has been relatively weak this morning, with decliners outnumbering advancing issues by a less than 3-to-2 ratio on the NYSE at midday. Only 3 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 96 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been trading below their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) for most of the morning session, pointing to intraday selling pressure. The key sectors have been influenced by the reemerging “stay-at-home” trade this morning, with tech stocks, and communication services showing relative strength and cyclical issues lagging behind the broader market, while gold miners showed signs of life thanks to safe-haven buying. Stay tuned!