Coming off of a record-setting week for US stock markets, Monday finds US index futures in retreat falling about 0.6%, with Dow Futures falling over 200 points. Over in Europe, the Dax is down 0.9% while the FTSE is down 0.8%. Commodities are also under pressure today with WTI Crude oil down 0.9%, Brent Crude down 1.4%, Copper down 2.0% and Platinum down 3.0%. Defensive metals Gold and Silver are up 0.1% and 0.8% respectively.
Part of this retreat may be due to normal backing and filling, and part may be related to investor uncertainty surrounding political turmoil in the US. Even though President Trump is on his way out the door with less than ten days remaining in his term, US politicians appear to be more interested in fighting another impeachment battle rather than focusing on dealing with Coronavirus and providing additional stimulus support to individuals and businesses. Meanwhile Twitter, is down 8.3% in premarket action after permanently suspending President Trump’s account. Like him or not, investors appear to be recognizing that he was one of their larger and more prolific accounts with a large following.
Internationally, investors appear to be more concerned about the impact of deepening lockdowns on the world economy. Last week’s early December data was mixed but falling employment in the US and Canada did suggest that new the latest wave of lockdowns may be starting to take their toll on the economy.
It’s a light week for economic news with the calendar headlined by retail sales, industrial production and trade numbers for the US and China coming out over Thursday and Friday, leaving investors the first half of the week open to digest last week’s mixed data. Earnings season kicks off on Thursday with results from asset manager Blackrock, followed by three big US banks on Friday (Citigroup, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase).