A busy day as investors digested vaccine updates and more fiscal stimulus against the simmering tensions between the US and China and the rising number of COVID-19 cases. In an unprecedented move, the US has ordered China to close its consulate in Houston. Global stocks ended mixed on Wednesday – European bourses slipped after a three-day winning streak.
Wall Street managed to eke out some gains despite the indecisiveness raging in the stock market:
- Dow Jones Industrial Average added 165 points or 0.6% to 27,006.
- S&P 500 rose by 19 points or 0.6% to 3,276.
- Nasdaq Composite added 26 points or 0.2% to 10,706.
On the earnings front, Microsoft and Tesla were among the main tech companies to report its quarterly earnings which were released after the market close:
- Tesla reported a net income of $104 million and a positive free cash flow of $418 million. The company earned $2.18 per share compared to a negative earnings per share of $1.12 a year ago. Its share price rose more than 5% in the after-hours trading.
- Microsoft’s fourth-quarter earnings exceeded expectations boosted by its outperformance in its commercial cloud business. The Company’s share price fell in extended-hours despite the upbeat earnings.
- Revenue was $38.0 billion and increased 13%
- Operating income was $13.4 billion and increased 8%
- Net income was $11.2 billion and decreased 15% GAAP (up 5% non-GAAP)
- Diluted earnings per share was $1.46 and decreased 15% GAAP (up 7% non-GAAP)
In the FX space, major currencies were mostly stronger against the US dollar. The US dollar is struggling to find any upside momentum dragged by concerns over the mounting number of infections, stimulus packages and escalating tensions between the US and China.
Unlike the greenback, the Euro is benefitting from the unprecedented recovery package deal and budget agreed by the EU leaders to support their economy. Also, daily activity gauges show that EU countries are recovering better post-coronavirus and are ahead of the US, UK and Canada.
The EURUSD pair continues to extend gains and as of writing, the pair is currently trading around the 1.1565 level.
EURUSD (Monthly Chart)
Despite the dollar weakness, the Pound is lagging behind its peers as Brexit negotiations have stalled and there is a high possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
After a bearish API report showing an increase in weekly crude oil stock increased from previous -8.322M to 7.544M in July 17, the EIA reported an increase of 4.9 million barrels from the previous week. However, crude oil prices hold on to familiar levels. As of writing, WTI Crude oil (Nymex) and Brent Crude (ICE) were trading higher around $41.84 and $44.26, respectively.
Gold’s rally continues- the XAUUSD pair is trading around the highest levels seen since September 2011. Given the ongoing uncertainty and geopolitical tensions, investors are hedging with safe-haven assets. As of writing, the XAUUSD pair is currently trading at $1,870.
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