Stocks Gain Amid Deals Optimism; Dollar Weakens: Markets Wrap

This content was published on September 14, 2020 - 19:13

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks touched a more than one-week high amid a flurry of deal activity and signs of progress toward a coronavirus vaccine. The dollar weakened and Treasuries were little changed.

Oracle Corp. jumped as much as 7.9% on reports the company beat Microsoft Corp. in negotiations for the U.S. operations of TikTok. Immunomedics Inc. doubled after Gilead Sciences Inc. agreed to buy the cancer drugmaker for $21 billion.

The S&P 500 increased as much as 1.9% before paring gains, while the Nasdaq 100 Index broke a two-day slide. Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said it’s “likely” the U.S. will deploy a Covid-19 vaccine to the public before year-end.

“I know that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but the reality is that the current economic environment has typically been very good for M&A activity,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group.

Global stocks are coming off the back of the first consecutive weeks of declines since March and traders remain on edge given the recent reassessment of valuations and volatility in options markets. The Federal Reserve is expected this week to maintain its dovish stance on policy as investors look for signs the global economy is recovering from the pandemic. Strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG suggested the recent pullback in the U.S. is nearing an end.

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“The path of least resistance is up,” said Kevin Caron, portfolio manager for Washington Crossing. “We still have a lot of monetary stimulus in the pipeline, there’s still a decent amount of momentum in the market, the underlying data in earnings seem to be reasonably positive.”

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The pound strengthened against peers as Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a rebellion in Parliament against legislation that would override key elements of the divorce treaty signed with the European Union.

In Asia, stocks rallied with South Korea leading gains. SoftBank Group Corp. shares climbed after Nvidia Corp. agreed to buy the firm’s chip division Arm Ltd. for $40 billion.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • China industrial production and retail sales data is due on Tuesday.
  • Wednesday sees the FOMC policy decision and news conference from Chair Jerome Powell.
  • Bank of Japan, Bank Indonesia and Bank of England policy decisions come Thursday.
  • Friday sees quadruple witching for U.S. markets when the quarterly expiration of futures and options on indexes and stocks happens on the same day.

These are the main moves in markets:

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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