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Stock Market News: 12-19-20

Dec. 20, 2020 12:05 PM ET2 Comments
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.


  • All 4 indexes rose this week.
  • A new ~$900B stimulus bill may be passed Sunday.
  • WTI Crude rose 5.73% this week.

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Market Indexes: All 4 indexes rose this week, with the NASDAQ and Russell small caps leading, as continued hope for a 2nd stimulus package, and the initial vaccine rollout lifted equities. Stocks retreated on Friday, though, in the wake of new disagreements over the terms of a potential stimulus package.“Shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday, vaccinations took place in Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, N.Y. The pandemic has scarred New York State profoundly, leaving more than 35,000 people dead and severely weakening the economy.The vaccinations started after the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Friday night, and as the U.S. coronavirus death toll approaches 300,000, with a steady surge in new cases daily.” (NY TIMES)

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Volatility: The VIX fell -7.5% this week, ending at $21.57.

High Dividend Stocks: These high dividend stocks go ex-dividend next week: SUNS, AMEN, GLAD, GOOD, GAIN, LTC.

Market Breadth: 19 out of 30 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 17 last week. 62% of the S&P 500 rose, vs. 54% last week.

FOREX: The US $ fell vs. most major currencies again this week, except for the Loonie.Our Latest Seeking Alpha Articles:

“TCG BDC:27% Discount, 12% Yield” (FRIDAY)

“Asian Watchlist: Aberdeen Asia-Pacific Income Fund, 7% Yield” (MONDAY)

Economic Reports:-Housing starts came in above expectations in November, rising at an annual rate of 1.547M.-Jobless Claims rose 23K to 885K.-Retail sales fell -1.1% in November.“The meat industry is starting to get squeezed from both sides.China is rebuilding its hog herd faster than expected, boosting demand and prices for soybeans and corn used to feed animals. And with its herds growing quickly, the world’s biggest consumer may soon need to import less meat.That twin dynamic — elevated feed costs and likelihood of smaller meat shipments to China in 2021 — threaten to shrink profits for livestock and poultry farmers in the U.S, Brazil and elsewhere, as well as the companies that process the animals into meat. Even worse, producers are getting hit just as they begin emerging from the coronavirus pandemic that added costs and lowered domestic prices for animals.“In the coming year, U.S. livestock and poultry producers will face more feed-cost inflation than they have in over a decade, challenging their ability to recover after a difficult and volatile 2020,” Will Sawyer, animal protein economist at farm lender CoBank ACB, said in a Dec. 10 report. Sawyer expects American beef, pork and chicken producers to have 12% higher feed costs in 2021 than this year.

China is importing record amounts of grain and soy just as dry weather threatens to shrink South American crops and after harvests in countries such as Ukraine fell short. The tight supply is a reversal from a years-long glut in grain and oilseed markets that had helped livestock and poultry producers to expand. Meanwhile, worries of diminishing meat exports to China in the coming months have started weighing on prices in the U.S., where demand from restaurants and institutions such as schools is still lower due to the virus.” (Bloomberg)(MarketWatch)Week Ahead Highlights: The market will close early, at 1PM on Thursday, and will be closed on Friday for the Christmas holiday.

Next Week’s US Economic Reports: (MarketWatch)

Sectors: The Energy sector pulled back -4% this week, after 5 straight positive weeks. Tech and Consumer Discretionary led al sectors this week.Futures: WTI Crude rose 5.73% this week, ending at $49.24. Natural Gas rose 4.4%, lifted by a massive winter storm in the Northeastern US.

Analyst's Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Our DoubleDividendStocks.com service features options selling for dividend stocks. It's a separate service from our Seeking Alpha Hidden Dividend Stocks Plus service. Disclaimer: This article was written for informational purposes only, and is not intended as personal investment advice. Please practice due diligence before investing in any investment vehicle mentioned in this article.

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