Coming off a three-day break, on Tuesday, on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, the New York Stock Exchange progressed. Investors supported the possibility of a new budget funding package of $1,900 billion, introduced by Biden and promoted by Janet Yellen on Tuesday, who said it was important to “hit hard” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The new Secretary of the Treasury was heard on Tuesday by the Senate, which is accepting her nomination. Moreover, amid better-than-expected performances, the quarterly performance of Goldman Sachs banks (-2.2 percent) and Bank of America (-0.7 percent) deteriorated.
The Dow Jones index added 0.38% to 30,930 points at the close, while the large S&P 500 index rose 0.81% to 3,798 points, and the Nasdaq Composite index, heavy in electronics and biotech stocks, soared 1.53% to 13,197 points, finishing very close to its last high (at 13,201 points on 8 January).
The indexes decreased by 0.9 percent for the DJIA last week and by 1.5 percent for the other two references. U.S. markets were closed on Monday to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.
In the coming days, amid the busy political news and the vagaries of the health crisis, market interest is likely to concentrate more on the fourth-quarter results of businesses, which have so far reserved good surprises, especially for banks. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America released better-than-expected accounts on Tuesday, following Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo last week.
With Netflix (after closing on Tuesday), Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon, U.S. Bancorp, Procter and Gamble, United Airlines Holdings, and UnitedHealth Group, the pace of publications is accelerating this week on Wall Street (Wednesday). On Thursday, Baker Hughes, CSX, Intel, and IBM are planned, followed by Carnival and Schlumberger on Friday.
Currently, FactSet’s consensus predicts fourth-quarter results to slip by 6.8 percent compared to Q4 2019, but FactSet chief analyst John Butters said in a note that positive profit outcomes are consistently overlooked by analysts. In the end, it is not out of the question that the earnings of the 500 biggest U.S. stocks will return to growth in the fourth quarter of 2020, following a three-quarter downturn under the weight of the coronavirus epidemic, he predicts.
However, the latest increase in stock indices to new highs indicates that, according to economists, these bullish assumptions may already have been absorbed into share markets, in particular for ‘technics’ whose valuations are entering the speculative bubble. Initial market reactions suggest that after “sell the news” according to the popular stock market adage, investors may be drawn to “buying the rumor.”