U.S. stocks registered another round of record highs, courtesy of improved U.S.-China trade sentiment after the latter said it will raise penalties on violations of intellectual property rights, considered a key hurdle on the path to a comprehensive agreement. M&A was in focus, with Tiffany & Co. being bought by France’s LVMH for about $16.2 billion, Medicines Company agreeing to be acquired by Novartis for $9.7 billion, and eBay selling its StubHub unit to viagogo for $4.1 billion. Treasury yields and gold dipped, though the U.S. dollar and crude oil gained modest ground, as a flood of data is set to pour in ahead of this week’s holiday break. Regional manufacturing activity improved but remained in contraction territory. Asia finished higher, led by Hong Kong after pro-democracy candidates pulled out a landslide victory in elections, while Europe traded to the upside.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 191 points (0.7%) to 28,067, the S&P 500 Index gained 23 points (0.8%) to 3,134, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 113 points (1.3%) to 8,632. In moderate volume, 815 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.2 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil increased $0.24 to $58.01 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.67 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price was $6.53 lower at $1,455.07 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—ticked 0.1% higher to 98.32.
The November Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index improved by a larger amount than expected but remained at a level depicting contraction (a reading below zero), rising to -1.3 from -5.1 in October, and versus the Bloomberg expectation of an increase to -3.8.
Treasuries ticked higher, with the yields on the 2-year and 10-year notes dipping 1 basis point (bp) to 1.62% and 1.76%, respectively, while the 30-year bond rate declined 2 bps to 2.20%. For a look at fixed income investing, Today’s report commenced a week that will remain robust despite being condensed due to the Thanksgiving holiday, which will see the U.S. markets close on Thursday and have a half-day on Friday. This evening’s speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will likely garner some attention ahead of tomorrow’s heavy dose of economic data that will include preliminary reads on October wholesale inventories and trade balance, which will be followed by the S&P CoreLogic Home Price Index for September and a November report on regional manufacturing activity out of Richmond. However, the two reports that will likely command the most attention will be the October new home sales report, projected to rise 0.9% month-over-month to an annual rate of 707,000, as well as the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, forecasted to improve to 127.0 in November from October’s 125.9 reading.
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