Vaccines can’t lift a flat day for global markets

Bank review, current USBR score and consumer report

Good evening, Bull Sheeters. This is Fortune finance reporter Rey Mashayekhi, filling in this week for Bernhard with a special PM edition of the newsletter.

It was a restrained day for the global markets. Wednesday morning’s news that the U.K. has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for distribution gave British markets a boost, but the reaction elsewhere was relatively modest. Meanwhile, stimulus talks rumbled on in D.C., the EU is already dreaming of post-Trump relations with the U.S., and the incoming American president shed some light on his China strategy.

Markets update

U.S.

  • Another day, another record-high close for the S&P 500, which gained 0.2% to end Wednesday at 3,669 points. The Dow also ticked up 0.2%, while the Nasdaq was down marginally.
  • There was more back-and-forth on a new COVID-19 stimulus package on Capitol Hill, with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi both throwing their support behind this week’s bipartisan $908 billion proposal. More importantly, there are indications that leadership on both sides of the aisle are prepared to work with each other on a deal.
  • Having faced the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell today appeared before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to stressing the importance of additional stimulus measures, the two men again discussed Mnuchin’s decision to not renew the Fed’s emergency lending programs.
  • Mnuchin also called on lawmakers to back U.S. airlines with another $20 billion in government payroll support.
  • All that talk of stimulus is driving up the market’s expectations for inflation.
  • In deal news, Uber is reportedly in talks to sell its business unit focused on developing flying, self-driving taxis to Joby Aviation, according to Axios.

Europe

  • Across the European bourses, London’s FTSE rode the high of the U.K.’s excellent coronavirus vaccine news to climb 1.2%. Frankfurt’s DAX slipped slightly (-0.5%), while the CAC 40 in Paris and the pan-European STOXX 600 were virtually flat.
  • With President Trump heading out the door, the EU and the U.S. should pursue a “new transatlantic agenda” once President-elect Joe Biden takes office, according to the European Commission.
  • But the EU also has its own problems: namely, a budget standoff that has seen Poland and Hungary hold hostage the bloc’s 1.8 trillion euro proposal.
  • In Germany, the government has yet again bailed out TUI, the world’s largest travel and tourism company, to the tune of 1.8 billion euro.

Asia

  • The Asian markets were mostly flat, with only South Korea’s KOSPI (+1.6%) moving notably. Tokyo’s Nikkei ticked up less than 0.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed -0.1%. On mainland China, the markets in Shanghai (-0.1%) and Shenzhen (+0.2%) were similarly mixed.
  • In an interview with the New York Times, President-elect Biden said that he will not “make any immediate moves” to cancel President Trump’s “Phase 1” trade deal with China, nor lift Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require Chinese firms to adhere to U.S. auditing standards, or risk being removed from U.S exchanges. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.
  • Jack Ma’s Ant Group is reportedly considering offloading its 30% stake in Indian digital payments firm Paytm.
  • Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi saw its shares in Hong Kong take a dive on Wednesday, after the firm failed to disclose a $4 billion off-market financial deal.

Elsewhere

  • Gold notched upward.
  • The dollar sank further on stimulus news
  • Bitcoin gained slightly but remains some way off the $20,000 mark—despite reportedly getting talked up by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.
  • Crude oil rose, with Brent settling at north of $48/barrel.

***

That’s all from me for now; please be sure to check out today’s reads below. Have a pleasant evening and see you again tomorrow.

Rey Mashayekhi
@reym12
rey.mashayekhi@fortune.com

As always, you can write to bullsheet@fortune.com or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

11 Things You Should Know Before You Get Your First Credit Card

A credit card may seem like just another tool to help you make purchases, but it can be much more. When used responsibly, a credit card can help you build

What Is a Balance Transfer, and Should I Consider Doing One?

In a perfect world, no one would carry a balance on their credit card. We would all pay our bills in full each month and never have to worry about

How Is Credit Card Interest Calculated?

So your bank tells you that your credit card has a 15% APR. What does that actually mean? How does your bank calculate your interest rate, and how does that translate into how much you actually pay? …

What Is a Balance Transfer, and Should I Consider Doing One?

In a perfect world, no one would carry a balance on their credit card. We would all pay our bills in full each month and never have to worry about

Subscribe to our e-mail list and stay up-to-date with all our news.

The US Bank Review is an independent authority and bank watchdog group monitoring financial institutions operating the in United States. We have no affiliation with any banks featured, reviewed or profiled. All rights reserved. Terms of use and Privacy Policy