Bitcoin Skyrockets Through All-time Highs As It Tops $22,000

Sectors wise, five of the S&P’s 11 sectors were in the green on Thursday, with consumer discretionary the only sector to climb by more than 1%. Consumer stocks posted gains despite data showing that US retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in November. Restaurants, vehicle dealerships and department stores all faced sales declines in November, as COVID-19 cases surged once more across the US.

S&P 500: +0.2% Wednesday, +14.6% YTD (SPY, SPX)

Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.2% Wednesday, +5.7% YTD (DIA)

Nasdaq Composite: +0.5% Wednesday, +41.1% YTD (COMP)

London-listed stocks jump after EU leader says there is ‘path’ to trade deal

London-listed stocks jumped on Wednesday after European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that there is now a “path” to a Brexit trade deal being reached by the end of the month. According to Oddschecker, the odds on the UK and EU signing a trade deal in 2020 are now 3/13, with the odds on the UK and EU extending the transition period beyond January 1st sitting at 2/13. 

The FTSE 100 closed the day 0.9% higher, led by housebuilder Barratt Developments (BTDPF) (+4.6%), asset manager M&G (MGPUF) (+4.3%), and JD Sports Fashion (JDDSF) (+3.7%). 

The FTSE 250 was up by 1.2%, led by a 12.3% gain for Dixons Carphone (DSITF). In an earnings announcement, the electronics retailer said that its online sales more than doubled in the first half of 2020, helping to offset the damage done by store closures. Dixons Carphone stock is now up by more than 30% in the past three months, tempering its year-to-date losses.

FTSE 100: +0.9% Wednesday, -12.9% YTD

FTSE 250: +1.2% Wednesday, -8.2% YTD

What to watch

Accenture: Technology consulting giant Accenture (ACN) has gained 17.5% in 2020, taking its market cap past the $150bn mark, despite a muted environment for corporate IT spending, which makes up a substantial portion of the firm’s business. The firm delivers its latest set of quarterly earnings today, months after announcing its “Cloud First” project to integrate the company’s cloud expertise and services into a single brand. Accenture plans to invest $3bn as part of the scheme, which will likely be a point of focus on the company’s earnings call. Currently, Wall Street analysts are split between buy and hold ratings on the stock.

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