Wall Street jumps, Treasury yield curve steepens after earnings, Biden assurances
By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were sharply higher and the Treasury yield curve steepened on Friday as upbeat earnings and President-elect Joe Biden's COVID advisory team helped reassure investors about the threat of new pandemic-related lockdowns to combat record spikes in coronavirus infections
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were sharply higher and the Treasury yield curve steepened on Friday as upbeat earnings and President-elect Joe Biden's COVID advisory team helped reassure investors about the threat of new pandemic-related lockdowns to combat record spikes in coronavirus infections.
Encouraging results from Cisco Systems Inc
President-elect Joe Biden solidified his election victory as Arizona's 11 electoral college votes were added to his column, but the official transition remains in limbo as President Donald Trump persists with his refusal to concede.
Still, Biden's pandemic advisory board provided a glimpse into the next president's coronavirus plan, and said there was no plan to enact a nation-wide shutdown.
Economically sensitive cyclicals and small cap stocks, the stars of the rally at the beginning of the week, once again led the charge. On Monday, investor risk appetite was boosted by Pfizer Inc's
The S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow were on track to post their second straight weekly gains, while at current levels the tech-heavy Nasdaq is lower than last Friday's close.
"Markets are looking at the brighter sky but risk falling into a manhole because short-term, the news on COVID-19 is very worrying with so many states locking down, European-style," said Thomas Costerg, senior economist at Pictet Wealth in Geneva. "I would caution here that we will have a bumpy road between now and inauguration day because of the coronavirus and softness in U.S. data."
Indeed, economic data released on Friday showed consumers are growing more pessimistic, while tepid inflation reflects labor market slack and sluggish demand.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 387.47 points, or 1.33%, to 29,467.64, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 41.3 points, or 1.17%, to 3,578.31 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 75.63 points, or 0.65%, to 11,785.22.
European stocks ended flat as rising fears of economic damage from the pandemic offset recent optimism surrounding a vaccine and hopes of calmer global trade under Biden. Still, the benchmark index notched its second straight week of gains.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rose 0.01% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.67%.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.61%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> closed 0.52% higher, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> lost 0.53%.
U.S. Treasury yields were mixed as investors consolidated positions ahead of the weekend and remained cautious given the surge in coronavirus cases. But the yield curve steepened on Friday, after flattening the previous session.
Benchmark 10-year notes
The 30-year bond
Crude oil prices slid, pressured by swelling output from Libya and fears that rising COVID infections could slow a recovery of global demand.
The dollar was down, but safe-haven yen and Swiss franc currencies strengthened, reflecting a loss of risk appetite driven by vaccine hopes.
The dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.22%, with the euro
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.49% versus the greenback at 104.62 per dollar, while Sterling
Gold prices rose as rising global coronavirus infections sparked renewed fears over the pandemic's economic toll.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp, editing by Louise Heavens)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.