Market Brief: Stocks Rocket Out of the Gates to Start 2020 on a Strong Note

See a summary of the top market themes and trends from today's US trading session!


View our guide on how to interpret the FX Dashboard.

  • Risk-on sentiment dominated the first full trading day of 2020 as an interest rate cut in China and the prospect of an imminent signing of the “Phase One” US-China trade deal boosted investors’ spirits.
  • US data: Initial unemployment claims came in at 222k vs. 220k eyed. Final December Markit Manufacturing PMI came in at 52.4, down a tick from the initial estimate.
  • FX: The yen and US dollar were the strongest major currencies on the day, while the British pound was the big laggard (see my colleague Fiona Cincotta’s report for more)
  • Commodities: Oil ticked incrementally higher, while gold tacked on roughly 0.5% today.
 
  • US indices closed roughly 1% higher to close at the highs of the day (and month, and quarter, and year, and decade…)
  • Technology stocks (XLK) led the way higher while higher yielding Utilities (XLU) and REITs (XLRE) lagged.
  • Stocks on the move:
    • Growth-oriented technology stocks like AMD (+7%), Micron Technologies (+3%) and Nvidia (+2%).
    • China-based firms in particular were in demand, including Tencent (TCEHY, +4%) and Alibaba (BABA, +4%).
*There are no market-moving economic releases scheduled for tomorrow's Asian session*

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