Stocks Slip, Treasuries Rise as Holiday Begins: Markets Wrap

Vildana Hajric and Jeremy Herron
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Stocks Slip, Treasuries Rise as Holiday Begins: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks ended a meandering session slightly lower and Treasuries edged higher in thin Christmas Eve trading. Oil and gold rose.

The S&P 500 Index slipped but held onto a 28% gain for the year. Trading volume was almost 40% below the 30-day average, with equities trading ending at 1 p.m. in New York. Boeing Co. dropped 1.4% after rallying Monday, when the troubled planemaker announced a leadership change. Shares were little changed in London, Paris and Madrid. Markets in Germany and Italy were closed, anticipating Wednesday’s holiday that will shutter exchanges on both sides of the Atlantic.

A gauge of emerging-market shares fell. The 10-year Treasury yield hit 1.95% before falling back to 1.90%. West Texas oil climbed toward $61 a barrel. Precious metal futures were mostly higher.

“What’s going on this week is capitulation and by capitulation I mean money is coming into the market,” Andrew Slimmon, senior portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said by phone. “Markets have had an incredible run, you have to start to wonder if it’s getting very overbought and what could cause a pause or reversal in the market, which is not to say the run is over.”

Along with the holiday calm, several asset classes are holding on the extraordinary advances they’ve notched in 2019. The $45 trillion MSCI World Index is maintaining a 25% year-to-date surge that augurs its top performance in a decade. Gold advanced, on track for its best year since 2010, as mixed U.S. data Monday kept hopes of interest-rate cuts alive.

Elsewhere, the dollar pared earlier gains against its major peers and headed for a monthly decline. The pound reversed earlier declines.

In Asia trading, equities ended little changed in Tokyo on thin volume, while they dipped in Seoul. Shanghai recovered some of Monday’s slide that came after a sell-off in tech companies.

Here are some events to watch for this week:

Many nations’ stock markets are closed Wednesday for Christmas. Australia, Canada, Germany and U.K. markets also shut on Dec. 26.U.S. jobless claims on Thursday.Japan retail sales and industrial production are scheduled for Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index fell less than 0.1% as of 1:00 p.m. New York time.The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.1%.The MSCI World Index was little changed.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.2952.The euro declined 0.1% to $1.1081.The Japanese yen was little changed at 109.39 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell three basis points to 1.90%.Germany’s 10-year yield gained one basis point to -0.24%.Italy’s 10-year yield rose two basis points to 1.43%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.8% to $60.99 a barrel.Gold futures climbed 1.1% to $1,504.30 an ounce.Silver rose 0.8% to $17.59 per ounce.

--With assistance from Todd White.

To contact the reporters on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net;Jeremy Herron in New York at jherron8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Dave Liedtka

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