Daily Market Color

Post-Election Stock Rally, Bond Selloff Persists as Consumer Confidence Surges

Stocks Rally, Gold Tumbles with Rising Consumer Confidence  In its preliminary release of the consumer confidence index for December, the University of Michigan released better-than-expected data on post-election consumer sentiment.  After posting a 93.8 reading in November, initial levels for this month came in at 98.0, handily exceeding median forecasts of 94.5.  Detailed in the analysis, the measure of Americans’ views concerning their personal finances rose to its highest mark in over ten years, with a record number of respondents expressing positive views towards the new administration’s expected policies.  All three major US indices are correspondingly trading up 0.4%-0.7% on the day.  Posed to post a sixth consecutive session of gains, US stocks’ matched their longest streak since June.  Overall, the “Trump rally” has added 5.3% to the S&P 500 since November 8th.  The dollar has similarly gained during this time period, with today’s move pushing its value against major foreign currencies to its highest level in 18 months.  Against the Japanese yen, the dollar has produced five straight weeks of gains and is currently at its highest mark in ten months, reaching over 115 JPY/$.

On the flip side of the Trump trade, gold futures are heading for a fifth consecutive weekly loss.  With record highs in stock prices and surging bond yields, investors have been quick to re-allocate funds out of the precious metal and bonds, and into riskier assets.  Treasurys also sold off yet again today, with yields/swap rates gaining 2-6 bps across the curve, pushing the yield on the 10-year note to its highest level in more than two years, hitting 2.46%.

Oil Production Meeting in Vienna…Again
Tomorrow’s gathering in Vienna stands as yet another pivotal event in the future direction of oil prices.  Several OPEC oil ministers will be joined by representatives from 14 other non-OPEC, oil-producing nations with the intention of negotiating an expansion of the production cuts that had recently been agreed upon.  OPEC has announced its targeted agreement for an additional 600,000 bpd cut.  Russia has been rumored to be willing to shoulder half of that amount, but with only a portion of the companies in the nation’s oil sector being state-owned, doubts remain about how likely Russia is to actually follow through on such a commitment.  In other countries such as Mexico, which has already seen a decline in production over the past few years, doubts remain as to whether they would be willing to agree to additional cuts.  WTI crude oil gained 1.2% on the day to $51.45/barrel while Brent crude added 0.6% to $54.20/barrel.

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