Daily Market Color December 17, 2020Stimulus Progress Pushes Three Major Indices to All-Time Highs Stimulus progress pushes S&P 500, DJIA, and Nasdaq to record highs Democrats and Republicans remain publicly committed to reaching a stimulus deal. All three major indices rose – the S&P 500, DJIA, and Nasdaq closed 0.6%, 0.5%, and 0.8% higher, respectively. Treasury yields and swap rates rose across a steepening curve – the 10-year UST yield closed 1 bp higher at 0.93%. Initial jobless claims totaled 885,000 for the week of December 12th, rising for a second week in a row Jobless claims rose from the prior week’s 862,000 to the highest level since early September. Rising virus cases are still the main culprit for the jump – the US reporting over 247,000 new infections and 3,600 fatalities today. Both housing starts and building permits rose in November The housing market showed significant M/M growth: starts rose to 1.547 million from 1.528 million while permits rose to 1.639 million from 1.544 million. Permits and starts are 8.5% and 7.9% above their respective level in November 2019. Stimulus progress pushes oil to a nine-month high Congress is nearing an agreement on a $900 billion bill, but have yet to compromise on a few issues like direct checks to individuals and state funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Brent crude futures rose to $51.50/barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose to $48.36/barrel.