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U.S. Indices record new highs, as Stimulus deal nears – 17th December

Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ recorded all-time highs on Thursday as markets responded to the news that a Stimulus deal could be reached by the weekend.

News broke today that negotiations surrounding a $900 billion COVID-19 aid bill were at the final stages, but talks could spill into the weekend as last minute details are still to be agreed.

Reports suggest that congress must approve the aid bill or pass a stopgap by midnight Friday, which currently seems more likely. If unable, many fear  Federal agencies will be forced into shutting down many of their operations due to a lack of funding.

As of writing both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones were up close to 0.5% , with the NASDAQ up 0.67%

Initial Jobless Claims at 3-month high

Data released today showed that Initial Jobless Claims in the United States had risen once again, this time to the highest levels in 3-months.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits increased to 885,000 for the week which ended December 12th. Claims were 85,000 higher than the expected figure of 800,000.

This is the second consecutive increase, as claims rose to their highest level since September as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen.

Many hope today’s data will help increase the government’s need to act in approving the aid bill.

Source: Bloomberg Quicktake

UK dampen EU Brexit optimism

Senior figures in the UK government today warned that the chances of getting a Brexit deal done were less than 50%.

This comes a day after European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, stated that there was a clear “path” to a deal.

Michael Gove who is a senior Brexiteer,  stated that, “I think that regrettably the chances are more likely that we won’t secure an agreement”.

He went on to say that, “providing the clock has run out and no agreement would have been reached, we will be in a world where we will be trading on WTO terms”.

GBPUSD set a new 2-year high despite the news, reaching $1.36.

Quote of the day – “In a speculative market it is not a bad idea to be a spectator”.

J. Paul Meyer

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