By Greg Peel
The Dow closed up 67 points or 0.4% at 19,023 while the S&P rose 0.2% to 2202 and the Nasdaq gained 0.3%.
Surging commodity prices were the major trigger but new all-time highs on Wall Street also seemed to spur investors into diving back into the Australian stock market as a whole yesterday, given no sector finished in the red in a 1.2% rally for the ASX200. Rotation of any sort was not apparent, although not every sector performed equally.
Materials (up 2.8%) and energy (up 2.6%) led the charge on stronger base metal and oil prices, despite a weak overnight session for iron ore, and helped by little counter-movement in gold. Iron ore futures went the other way and traded “limit up” in the session, negating that offset. In contrast to trading over the past couple of months, the next best sector was utilities, up 2.1%.
It has been typical in recent times for resources and other cyclicals to trade inversely to yield stocks and defensives. Yesterday was different; seemingly more of a case of buying anything that looked sufficiently cheap. Not joining the party were the banks and telcos, up only 0.3% each.
Telstra ((TLS)) has been a volatile stock of late – not what you’d normally associate with a supposedly defensive telco. It seems talk of an NBN-related “earnings gap” ahead has investors thinking twice. And the lingering possibility of the banks having to raise new capital to meet new regulations, or at the least cut their dividends, may also have investors shying away from that sector.
Yesterday’s rally was not a step-jump but a classic case of moving steadily upward as the day progressed. This suggests “real” buying. In sights was the technical level of 5400 for the index which was surpassed late morning, sparking some brief profit-taking, but once the rally resumed it fed on itself.
If the index holds over 5400, chartists suggest then 5500 is in play.
Donald Trump must be starting to think he’s a bit of a hero, if he didn’t already. The S&P500 has now posted a thirteen-day winning streak since Trump’s victory speech, to the tune of almost 3%. Nixon managed to spark a similar response, but Trump is still well behind Republican pin-up boy Ronny Ray Guns, whose election was worth over 8% in the same period.
The Dow has closed over 19,000 for the first time in history. The S&P has closed over 2200 for the first time in history. The Nasdaq and Russell small cap indices also hit new all-time highs last night, marking the second consecutive session of all four doing so – a feat not seen since 1998. The thirteen-day day winning streak for the S&P is the first since 1996.
Across Wall Street all talk is of just how far this rally can run on election promises (that are already being broken – “lock her up” is now off the table) which will take time to implement. Surely the honeymoon must fade at some point. Tonight in the US is all about trains, planes and automobiles. A mass exodus will begin from lunch time. A good day to take profits ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday?
Recent volatility in bulks and base metal prices has had a lot to do with the Chinese government increasing margin requirements to curb rampant speculation, offsetting Trump euphoria. We’ve seen some sharp dips in iron ore and coal prices lately as a result. But is Beijing winning?
Iron ore is up US$4.00 or 5.7% at US$73.80/t. Thermal coal is up 6.2%.
There were some very big moves up for base metals on Monday night, with aluminium a smaller mover. Last night aluminium jumped 2% while copper, lead and nickel all added a further 1% and nickel fell 1%, having jumped over 5% in the prior session.
West Texas crude has now rolled into the January delivery contract and last night it fell US17c to US$48.07/bbl after Monday night’s big move.
The US dollar didn’t much come into play last night, ticking up less than 0.1% to 101.07.
Gold is flat at US$1211.70/oz.
The Aussie is up 0.5% at US$0.7399 despite the steady greenback, driven by commodity prices strength and, presumably, all this sudden talk of the next move in Australian interest rates being up. There are plenty of economists holding the opposite view.
The SPI Overnight closed up 9 points.
Locally we’ll see September quarter construction work done numbers today.
Japanese markets are closed.
Wall Street will see a big dump of data tonight, including the minutes of the November Fed meeting, before the evacuation begins.
Programmed Maintenance ((PRG)) will release its earnings report today while the centres of attention in another round of AGMs will likely be Estia Health ((EHE)), following its torrid few months, and one of the most volatile stocks on the market at present, lithium producer Orocobre ((ORE)).
Rudi will appear on Sky Business today, 12.30-2.30pm, instead of his usual Thursday appearance.
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