Friday November 27th


U.S. stock futures rise as Wall Street heads for winning week and a historic month

U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday morning as traders wrapped up a strong week amid decreasing political uncertainty and positive vaccine news. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded higher by 55 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures also gained 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.4%. The market closes at 1 p.m. on Friday. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all up at least 2% for the week entering Friday’s session. Earlier in the week, the Dow jumped to an all-time high, breaking above 30,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also notched a record closing high this week, and the Russell 2000 rallied to an all-time high. Retailers led the early gains as investors bet on strong Black Friday sales. Amazon shares advanced 0.7% in premarket trading. Gap gained 1.1%. Shopify advanced 1.2%, and Walmart rose 0.7%. Nordstrom traded 1.5% higher. Also helping sentiment were comments from President Donald Trump, who said he would leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden. “Certainly I will. Certainly I will. And you know that,” Trump said. He added, however, it would be hard for him to concede because “we know there was massive fraud.” Trump did not offer any concrete evidence of widespread voter fraud, however. Stocks came into Friday’s session riding high in November thanks in part to a slew of positive coronavirus vaccine trial data. Earlier this month, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine was more than 90% effective. Moderna also said its drug was highly effective in a trial. That data helped push the Dow up 12.8% in November, putting it on track for its biggest monthly gain since January 1987. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq came into the day up 11% and 10.8%, respectively, in November. Meanwhile, the small-cap Russell 2000 is on track for its best month ever, up nearly 20%. November’s sharp gains were led by beaten-down value stocks as the positive vaccine news sparked hope for a strong economic recovery. The iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) is up 14.7% this month. Its growth counterpart, the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF), has gained 9.2% in that time. “This rotation from growth to value is a process, not an event, and that’s why we favor systematically increasing value/cyclical exposure and reducing overweights in tech — especially on any growth-related pullbacks,” wrote Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report. Stocks in Asia-Pacific nudged higher on Friday as investors reacted to data on China’s industrial profits for October. Markets also scrutinized concerns over the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, with results and methods used in their phase three vaccine trials under criticism from experts in the U.S. Mainland Chinese markets saw gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.14% to about 3,408.31 while the Shenzhen component added 0.668% to around 13,690.88. China’s industrial profits surged 28.2% year-on-year in October, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced Friday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was about 0.6% higher, as of its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.4% higher at 26,644.71 while the Topix index added 0.47% to finish its trading day at 1,786.52. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.29% to close at 2,633.45. Oil prices were mixed on Friday in quiet trade due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropping more than 1% amid concerns about oversupply and doubts about a vaccine to end the coronavirus pandemic. WTI was down by 69 cents, or 1.5%, at $45.02 by 0104 GMT. U.S. crude prices did not settle on Thursday due to the holiday. Brent crude was up by 9 cents at $47.89, having fallen 1.7% overnight. Gold edged down on Friday, on path for its worst weekly decline in two months, as hopes for a virus vaccine and a rebound in economic growth dulled demand for the safe-haven asset. Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,808.30 per ounce, down 3.4% on the week so far, it’s biggest weekly loss since Sept. 25. U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,806.40. “A break below $1,800 an ounce could well see further losses towards $1,760 as positive sentiment around a possible vaccine continues to weigh on demand for the traditional safe haven asset,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.