Politics in Focus as Stocks Finish Higher…..

U.S. equities finished on the plus side on the first session of a shortened week following the long holiday weekend, as the markets awaited President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration tomorrow, while also paying attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing. Financials saw only a modest uptick, as the gains were held in check following mixed reactions to results from Dow member Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America as Q4 earnings season continues to heat up. In M&A news, Lumentum Holdings agreed to acquire Coherent in a cash and stock transaction valued at $5.7 billion. Meanwhile, shares of General Motors jumped after announcing a collaboration with Microsoft on driverless vehicles. The economic calendar was void of any major releases today, but is set to heat up tomorrow with housing in focus, while Treasuries were little changed and the U.S. dollar saw some weakness. Gold fell slightly and crude oil prices gained ground. Europe finished lower, with monetary policy decisions looming from the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank, while markets in Asia were mixed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 116 points (0.4%) to 30,931, the S&P 500 Index was up 31 points (0.8%) at 3,799, and the Nasdaq Composite increased 199 points (1.5%) to 13,197. In heavy volume, 1.1 billion shares were traded on the NYSE and 6.1 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil gained $0.56 to $52.98 per barrel. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price declined $1.63 to $1,836.63 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.3% lower at 90.50.

Treasury yields flat and U.S. dollar sees pressure ahead of economic week…..

Treasuries finished little changed to begin the holiday-shortened week with the economic calendar void of any major releases today. The rates on the 2-year and 10-year notes, along with the 30-year bond, were flat at 0.13%, 1.09% and 1.83%, respectively.

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