Lawmakers Reach $900bn Stimulus Deal As UK Hit By New Coronavirus Strain

In other news, Intel’s share price fell by 6.3% on Friday, after reports that Microsoft (MSFT) plans to design its own chips in a bid to become more self-sufficient.

S&P 500: -0.4% Friday, +14.8% YTD (+1.3% last week) (SPY, SPX)

Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.4% Friday, +5.8% YTD (+0.4% last week) (DIA)

Nasdaq Composite: -0.1% Friday, +42.2% YTD (+3.1% last week) (COMP)

Sterling gains hold back FTSE 100

The FTSE 250 substantially outperformed the FTSE 100 last week, gaining 2.5% versus a 0.3% loss. A bump in the value of the pound as Brexit deal talks continued was one factor, as the companies in the FTSE 100 make the majority of their money overseas. Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca (AZN) was one of the biggest weights on the FTSE 100, losing 8% over the course of the week, taking its loss over the past three months to 14.2%. The loss follows the company announcing a surprise $39bn deal to buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), which takes the firm into new areas of drug research. In the FTSE 250, private air travel firm Signature Aviation (BBAVF) led the way with a 50% plus gain, after news broke that the company is in sales talks with investment firm Blackstone (BX).

FTSE 100: -0.3% Friday, -13.4% YTD (-0.3% last week)

FTSE 250: -0.9% Friday, -8.1% YTD (+2.5% last week)

What to watch

Heico: Aerospace and technology firm Heico (HEI) has added 16.6% to its share price year-to-date, taking its market cap to $16.9bn. The company reports earnings for the three months ended October 31 on Monday, after beating estimates in each of the past four quarters. Last week, the firm announced an increase in its credit facility to $1.5bn. Analysts are expecting an earnings per share figure of $0.41 for the quarter, versus $0.62 in the same quarter last year. Currently, five Wall Street analysts rate the stock as a buy or overweight, six as a hold, and two as an underweight.

Factset Research Systems: Financial data firm Factset (FDS) has gained nearly 30% in 2020 and is one of the only other significant names to be reporting earnings in the week leading up to Christmas. In the previous two quarters, the company has beaten earnings expectations by a wide margin. In September, FactSet announced plans to migrate some of its functions to the cloud using Amazon Web Services, which is a potential point of interest on the company’s Monday earnings call. Currently, analysts are split between hold and sell ratings on the stock.

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