U.S. stocks rose for a second day in holiday-shortened trading as investors monitored the latest developments on the Congressional aid package, while the British pound strengthened after a post-Brexit trade accord agreement was reached.
The S&P 500 edged higher, with technology and real estate shares gaining, while financials and energy stocks led declines. A scuffle over pandemic relief is set to run up against a federal funding deadline next week as Democrats side with President Donald Trump in his demand for US$ 2,000 payments to most Americans. The dollar weakened and Treasury yields were little changed.
The pound strengthened and the Stoxx 600 Index gained after the U.K. clinched a historic trade deal with the European Union, averting the threat of an acrimonious breakup and laying the foundations for a new relationship with its biggest and nearest commercial partner.
Alibaba Group Holding’s U.S.-listed shares tumbled the most ever in intraday trading on concern over China’s inquiry into alleged monopolistic practices at the e-commerce company. Volumes were subdued in many countries on Thursday. Most financial markets will be closed Friday for Christmas Day.
“Right now we have a lot of animal spirits surging into year end,” Michael Purves, founder and CEO at Tallbacken Capital Advisors, said on Bloomberg TV. “As constructive as I am on markets in the broader term, I do expect there will be a hangover of sorts to process this over-extension some time later this winter