Stocks pulled back from record highs Monday morning as traders took a pause from an end-of-year rally.
The Dow fell more than 100 points, or 0.5%, but still held above the 30,000 level the index first exceeded in late November. Shares of component Chevron (CVX) reversed some of last week’s gains, and Intel (INTC) dropped after Bloomberg reported that Apple (AAPL) was aiming to develop Mac processors that would outperform those made by Intel as soon as early 2021. The S&P 500 also fell about 0.2%, while those on the Nasdaq outperformed and ticked slightly above the flat line.
U.S. equities also tracked a decline in European stocks amid reports that Britain’s Brexit talks to reach a trade deal with the European Union could collapse as soon as Monday in absence of a breakthrough between negotiators. The Brexit transition period is set to conclude at the end of the month.
Monday’s stock decline comes after the three major indices each logged all-time closing highs on Friday, as a month’s worth of upbeat vaccine news compounded with rising hopes for a stimulus deal out of Washington. A weaker-than-expected report on new job creation in the U.S. last week fueled optimism that the print would spur lawmakers to more urgently consider new measures to alleviate the economic toll of the pandemic.
To that end, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled last week a relief bill proposal worth about $908 billion – a compromise sum greater than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had initially sought, but below the $2 trillion House Democrats were looking to unveil.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have already indicated that they would support the bill. And Senator Bill Cassidy (R., La.), who was among the bipartisan group that released the stimulus proposal, told Fox News on Sunday that he is confident President Donald Trump and McConnell will support the bill.
Meanwhile, investors will also be eagerly eyeing developments on the COVID-19 vaccine front, with a key milestone expected to take place later this week. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to convene its outside scientific advisory board on Thursday to discuss Pfizer’s (PFE) emergency use authorization request for its vaccine. The advisors could vote as soon as that day whether to recommend that the FDA green-light the inoculation and allow the first phase of roll-outs to states.
11:49 a.m. ET: NYC set to shut indoor dining if hospitalizations keep worsening: Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that indoor dining in New York City could end if COVID-related hospitalizations fail to stabilize in the next five days. Indoor dining resumed at 25% capacity in October, after months of closures due to the pandemic.
Hospitalizations in New York City have exceeded 1,000 every day since Nov. 26. On Saturday, they hit 1,375, or the highest level since early June.
NEW: If after 5 days a region’s hospital rate has not stabilized, indoor dining will close or be reduced.
-In NYC, indoor dining would close entirely.
-In rest of the state, indoor dining would be reduced to 25% capacity.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 7, 2020
9:38 a.m. ET: Airbnb targets bigger initial public offering, with shares set to start trading Thursday
Airbnb on Monday increased the target range for its initial public offering, joining DoorDash in increasing its share offering size in the days leading up to its public debut.
The digital home rental company said in a filing Monday it will now offer its 51.9 million shares in its IPO at between $56 to $60 apiece, up from the $44 to $50 per share range Airbnb disclosed in a filing earlier this month. This means the company would raise as much as $3.1 billion and have a fully diluted valuation of as much as $42 billion, or more than double the valuation it fetched in private markets earlier this year.
Airbnb’s IPO will take place on Wednesday, so there’s still a possibility that that IPO range gets tweaked in the next couple days with that roadshow still under way and the IPO getting pitched to more investors. After that, shares of Airbnb will start trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday under the ticker “ABNB.”
9:34 a.m. ET: Stocks open mixed
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:34 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -6.09 points (-0.16%) to 3,693.00
Dow (^DJI): -49.68 points (-0.16%) to 30,168.58
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +22.44 points (+0.18%) to 12,487.85
Crude (CL=F): -$0.35 (-0.76%) to $45.91 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$2.40 (+0.13%) to $1,842.40 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -3 bp to yield 0.939%
8:09 a.m. ET: A key risk for stocks in 2021 ‘is that the recovery is mostly baked in already’: RBC Capital Markets
As 2020 comes to a close, a number of strategists have already offered their views about where they believe the S&P 500 will end next year. With a vaccine, additional round of fiscal stimulus and economic recovery all likely at play, consensus analysts believe the stock market is going to keep climbing.
However, given that all these positive catalysts are already well-known by market participants, a major risk to equities next year is that much of the recovery has already been priced in, according to RBC Capital Markets.
“On the broader US equity market (S&P 500), our analysis suggests that the recovery has room to run from a fundamental perspective,” Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets head of U.S. equity strategy, said in a note Monday morning. “But it also suggests that a key risk for US equities in 2021 is that the recovery is mostly baked in already.”
While the firm has still suspended offering price targets or offering forward-looking calls, it offered words of caution for equity investors given overwhelmingly positive sentiment rippling through markets. Here’s what else Calvasina had to say:
Even if the recovery remains intact and/or investors look past any short-term economic damage due to the pending deployment of vaccines, it’s not irrational for investors to consider the possibility that the recovery has already been well discounted in the stock market. U.S. equities are starting to look over-owned again in the futures market based on the latest CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] data, retail investors (whose bearishness helped highlighted a contrarian opportunity to buy stocks earlier this year) are headed back towards euphoric territory (though they aren’t back there quite yet), valuations are extremely stretched on consensus EPS [earnings per share] forecasts for both 2021 and 2022, and 2021 EPS growth expectations are already tracking above 2018-2019 levels. This last item is important, since a sustained recovery in EPS growth expectations was a key pillar of support for stocks not only over the past few months, but in the 2009 recovery that 2020 is currently mimicking.
7:05 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures point lower, pulling back from records
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:05 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,686.75, down 11.25 points or 0.3%
Dow futures (YM=F): 30,100.00, down 98 points or 0.32%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 12,520.00, down 6 points or 0.05%
Crude (CL=F): -$0.42 (-0.91%) to $45.84 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -$6.10 (-0.33%) to $1,833.90 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -2.5 bp to yield 0.944%
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