Clock Ticking On Brexit Deal, Still No Agreement On Stimulus Package

Accenture leads S&P 500 higher, Coca-Cola cuts jobs

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite were all in the green on Thursday, up by 0.6%, 0.5%, and 0.8% respectively. Sector-wise, nine of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors were up, with the real estate, materials, and healthcare sectors all gaining by more than 1%. Technology consulting giant Accenture was one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500, adding 6.9% on the back of a strong quarterly earnings report.

Elsewhere, Coca-Cola (KO) announced that it is cutting 2,200 jobs globally, including 1,200 in the US. Per The WSJ, the reductions amount for around 12% of the company’s US workforce and come after the company offered voluntary packages to thousands of staff in the US and Canada in August. Coca-Cola has taken a hit from the closure of restaurants, bars, cinemas, and more, with its stock down 3.8% year-to-date.

S&P 500: +0.6% Thursday, +15.2% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.5% Thursday, +6.2% YTD

Nasdaq Composite: +0.8% Thursday, +42.3% YTD

Stocks mixed after BofE rate hold, furlough scheme extension

On Thursday, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the UK’s furlough scheme by another month, until the end of April 2021. The Bank of England also decided to hold interest rates steady, although the Monetary Policy Committee noted the Covid-19 vaccine rollout reduces the downside risk to the economy. However, caution prevailed, with the MPC adding that UK GDP growth in Q4 is likely to be weaker than expected back in November. The FTSE 100 closed the day out 0.3% lower, while the FTSE 250 gained 1%. In the FTSE 100, Vodafone, United Utilities, and Ocado were the biggest losers, falling 4.1%, 2.8%, and 2.7% respectively. In the FTSE 250, private air travel firm Signature Aviation jumped by 40% after reports that private equity giant Blackstone is in talks to buy the firm. Gambling firm Rank Group was also up double digits, adding 10.4%.

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