Futures in the United States are down while those in Europe are mostly flat after big cap technology stocks rebounded in yesterday’s session after falling on Monday. Despite the retracement in tech stock prices, Facebook remained under scrutiny following the company’s service outage and a report by a whistleblower alleging that the social media giant knowingly causes adverse effects to its users in pursuit of higher profits. Today, investors will be looking at ADP’s non-farm payroll report, which will serve as a teaser for the crucial payroll data to be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
In yesterday’s session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.92%, and the S&P 500 index jumped 1.05%. The Nasdaq, the tech-savvy index, grew 1.25%, and the Russell 2000, the small-cap index, surged 0.49%.
The main driver behind yesterday’s momentum in economic recovery related stocks was a better than projected manufacturing report. According to the Institute for Supply Management, purchasing managers’ index for services jumped to 61.9 in September compared to 61.7 in August. The data indicates that the slowdown witnessed in economic growth over the last few months may highly likely be behind us and this is what also helped Nasdaq to recover some of its losses yesterday.
On Tuesday, companies in the S&P 500’s financial sector outperformed the rest of the market, rising 1.78%. Broadly speaking, stocks related to economic recovery were on the rise as investors shifted to value stocks. As a result, the stock prices of retail, cruise, and airline companies surged. Companies in the energy sector also climbed higher, backed up by a rise in price and demand for crude oil going forward to cater to the global power crunch.
Over the next few months, during winter specifically, energy stocks are likely to be relatively more volatile as Europe and China tackle a huge power crisis. In Europe, prices of natural gas have been galloping away. Natural gas contracts have touched as high as 114 euros per megawatt-hour on Tuesday, up from a mere 15.49 euros in February.
Investors should note that the most important event of the week is Friday’s payroll data. The report is not expected to cause a stir in markets as coronavirus cases are on a declining trend and the Fed has vowed to continue with its tapering plan as long as the data comes in satisfactory.
The price of Bitcoin finally broke through the $50,000 price level after dipping over the last few days because of increased crackdowns by Beijing on the digital sector and El Savador’s bumpy start to incorporating the digital coin as its legal tender. However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s statement that the Fed is not likely to ban stable coins caused a spur of optimism among investors. Furthermore, Elon Musk’s enigmatic tweet on Tuesday also supported the bullish sentiment.
On Tuesday, Bitcoin touched $50,400 and recovered losses incurred during the third quarter. During its last rally, bulls were able to climb as high as $51,276. The notorious digital asset is up nearly 76% over the last twelve months and has nearly risen 17% in October. Investors should expect the rally to continue as long as there isn’t a big correction in equity markets, which could potentially have a spillover effect on crypto markets as well.
Furthermore, investors should keep in mind that cryptocurrencies and crypto-related products are continuing to rise in demand as the digital sector carries on gaining traction and popularity. One of the largest banks, US Bank, has also entered the playing field, quoting that the phenomenon is too hard to ignore. The bank has started offering crypto custody services for Bitcoin and will evaluate if it is feasible for the bank to provide custody services for other digital coins as well going forward.
Oil prices in the United States have climbed to their highest level since 2014, rising for the last 5 sessions. Crude oil has gained support from uncertainty regarding energy supplies as supplies of coal, natural gas, and crude appear to be tighter. Monday’s OPEC meeting only exacerbated the issue as the group conveyed no significant rise in oil production and decided to go on with its already existing timeline to avoid any major repercussions caused by another wave of coronavirus. However, the cartel may be pushed into a corner if demand continues to rise, leaving no option but to ramp up production. Brent crude increased 0.15% and settled at $82.68 per barrel.
The payrolls data scheduled to be released later this week is expected to show that 488,000 jobs were added last month. The report is crucial as it is used by the central bank to assess the state of the nation’s labour market. As long as the report comes out as “decent”, the Federal Reserve will continue with its plan to wind down quantitative easing. Although inflation is on the rise and the precious metal is seen as a hedge against rising consumer prices, a reduction in the fed’s stimulus and an uptick in interest rates are going to increase the opportunity cost of holding gold and push its price down.
Investors should understand that Fantasia Holdings’, a real estate developer, failure to repay $205.7 million for a bond shows that Beijing’s steps to contain the Evergrande issue may come out to be ineffective in the end. The news has reawakened fears among investors of widespread defaults in China’s property sector. As a result, the country’s junk dollar bonds are being sold off at a rapid pace, the largest selloff in nearly eight years, with markets closed in the country, making gaining liquidity even more difficult.
As of 11.15 p.m. EST, the Nikkei dropped 1.00% and the Hang Seng index, in Hong Kong, decreased 0.89%. The ASX 200 index dipped 0.64% and the Seoul Kospi shed 1.30%.