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Thomas Hughes

The U.S. Equities Market Is Trading At A New High

The U.S. equities market is trading at a new all-time high in the premarket session. Futures contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ Composite are all indicated to open with gains near 0.30%. If the market were to close at this level it would be a new all-time closing high, if the market moves up more than a point before the close it would be a brand new all-time high. The move is driven by relief the Wuhan Virus is not yet a global health crisis but risks remain.

The number of cases of Wuhan Coronavirus has risen to 830+ with more than 25 deaths. There are now 14 cases outside of China including South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. The number of U.S. cases has grown to a possible two.

In stock news, shares of American Express are moving higher after the consumer credit company reported earnings. The company beat on the top and bottom lines as strength in fees and cardholder spending drive results. Shares of Intel are also moving higher. The iconic chipmaker beat on the top and bottom line on strength in personal computing and data center demand. Intel also provided favorable guidance and raised the dividend sending shares up nearly 5.0%.

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EU Markets Rise, Data Weakens But Reassures Markets

The EU markets are moving higher at midday on Friday following the World Health Organization’s decision not to declare the Wuhan Virus a global emergency. The UK FTSE 100 is in the lead with a gain near 1.60% while the DAX follows closely at +1.50%. The CAC is also up more than 1.0% but barely.

On the economic front, PMI from across the region continues to support expansion. The EU composite flash PMI for January held steady at 50.9, showing expansion but slowing from the previous month and missing consensus. Some strength in services was offset by weakness in manufacturing. Manufacturing PMI within the EU came in at a contractionary 47.8, up from the previous month and better than expected.

In stock news, Virgin Money rose 5.7% after the company announced its chairman of the board would retire. The change is expected by mid-2021 and is well-received by the market. Shares of Ipsen are moving lower after halting dosing in one of its key drug trials. Shares are down -22% on the news.

Asian Markets Prep For Lunar New Year

Markets in China and South Korea are closed on Friday as traders prep for Lunar New Year. The holiday kicks off this weekend and is expected to impact market activity for at least a week. The Nikkei, Hang Seng, and ASX are all up less than 0.15% at the end of the session.

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