Markets Up As US Clears Path For Moderna Vaccine Approval

In other news, the end-of-year IPO boom is still rolling this week. Following Airbnb (ABNB) and DoorDash’s (DASH) mega-IPOs last week, e-commerce firm Wish is pricing its own IPO at the top of its previously expected range, pointing to a valuation of $17bn. The company was founded by a former Google engineer, and is owned by parent firm ContextLogic.

S&P 500: +1.3% Tuesday, +14.4% YTD (SPY, SPX)

Dow Jones Industrial Average: +1.1% Tuesday, +5.8% YTD (DIA)

Nasdaq Composite: +1.3% Tuesday, +40.4% YTD (COMP)

Investors weigh poor unemployment figures against Brexit talk progress

London-listed stocks faced another mixed day on Tuesday, as investors dealt with a mixed bag of news related to Brexit deal negotiations, pandemic restrictions and economic data. Official data released yesterday showed that the UK unemployment rate increased to 4.9% in the three months to October, in addition to the biggest annual drop off in total employment in a decade. In UK-EU Brexit deal negotiations, The Guardian reported that Downing Street has watered down a demand on post-Brexit fishing rights. The FTSE 100 closed the day down 0.3%, while the FTSE 250 was up by 0.5%.

In the FTSE 100, housebuilders had a positive day, with Persimmon (PSMMY), Barratt Developments (BTDPF) and Taylor Wimpey (TWODF) all up by more than 2.5%. Finance names were in the mix at the top of the index too, with asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen (SLFPF), wealth firm St James’s Place (STJPF) and Lloyds Banking Group(LYG) all enjoying 2% plus share price bumps. At the other end of the spectrum, pharmaceutical names were a drag, with Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPF), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca (AZN) all in the red.

FTSE 100: -0.3% Tuesday, -13.6% YTD

FTSE 250: +0.5% Tuesday, -9.3% YTD

What to watch

Federal Reserve meeting: The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets the central bank’s interest rate policy, is in the middle of its final two-day meeting of the year. A press conference will be held today, where key points to watch will be the Fed’s stance on future asset purchasing programs, and a decision on whether it plans to keep interest rates at their current level. According to Trading Economics, the consensus view is that rates will be left unchanged. The Fed will also be releasing a new economic outlook, where investors will be watching closely for how COVID-19 vaccine approval has affected its projections.

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