This morning it doesn’t matter that the Part 1 U.S.-China trade agreement isn’t signed and that we don’t have more than the bare, vague outlines of the deal.
This morning it doesn’t matter that the smashing Conservative Party victory in the United Kingdom elections left all the tough negotiations on the trading, regulatory, and financial relationships between the U.K. and the European Union unresolved.
No, the market has decided that what matters is the fact that there’s more certainty today than last week–even if massive uncertainties remain.
And that Wall Street is starting to talk about a market melt up in January 2020. Bloomberg is reporting this morning that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has told clients to be ready for a 5% to 6% market rally after the turn of the year because all the ducks are lined up–loose central bank policy, a trade truce with China, the end to Brexit uncertainty–for stocks to move higher in early 2020.
That bank also notes that it remains convinced that 2020 will be front end loaded with most gains coming in the first part of the year, but rather than a worry, the markets today are treating that as advice to get in early.
As of noon today, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 0.87% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead by 0.65%. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite had gained 1.08% and the Russell 2000 small cap index had climbed 1.18%. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) had risen 1.11%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) had tacked on 1.18% with chip stocks such as Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) up 2.07 and Broadcom (AVGO) up 3.44%. Apple (AAPL), a major tech sector catalyst, was higher by 1.99%.
The biotech sector continued its recent rally with the iShares NASDAQ Biotech ETF (IBB) up 1.08%.
Gold fell 0.16% to $1478.80 an ounce, a relatively minor drop given the shift to risk on assets. Silver climbed 0.31% to $17.07 an ounce.
U.S. crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate gained 0.17% to break above $60 a barrel at $60.24 a barrel. International benchmark Brent crude was up 0.37% to $64.46 a barrel.
Treasury yields rose as bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-Year Treasury rose to 1.88% from Friday’s 1.82%. The yield on the 2-year Treasury moved to 1.64% from 1.60% on Friday.
The dollar weakened (I’d assume on less demand for the safe haven U.S. currency now that risk has been declared lower) with the Dollar Spot Index off 0.09%
Reflecting the assessment that its now safe to get in the water, the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) was off 6.89% to a very low 11.76.