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  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.63%.
  • S&P 500 put on 1.13% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.28% for record highs.  

The US benchmarks ended the first day on the month on a strong footing. 

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes closed at record highs.

Investors looked through the rising cases of the coronavirus and instead focussed on prospects of the COVID-19 vaccine and a subsequent faster economic recovery. 

US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that an overwhelming majority in the US could be vaccinated in the second quarter and that herd immunity is possible in US by autumn.

Remarks by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Fed Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the Senate Banking Committee, where they agreed the need for more aid for small businesses was positive for risk as well.

The clincher was a bipartisan group of US lawmakers unveiling a $908 billion COVID-19 recovery-bill aimed at breaking a months-long deadlock between Democrats and Republicans.

This is designed to offer new emergency assistance for small businesses, unemployed people, airlines and to industries during the pandemic.

Then, with upbeat US data on the tailcoats of upbeat Chinese factory data, it was a recipe for some near term risk-on action.

Subsequently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.63% to end at 29,823.92 points, while the S&P 500 put on 1.13% at 3,662.44. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.28% to 12,355.11.

Not a bad way to start a month where all three main stock indexes gained more than 10% in November. 

Vaccine updates

”Pfizer Inc PFE jumped almost 3% after the drugmaker and Germany’s BioNTech SE BNTX sought emergency approval of their vaccine candidate from the European regulator,” Reuters reported.  

”The partners are neck-and-neck with rival Moderna Inc MRNA, which also applied for an emergency approval from the European regulator. Its stock tumbled nearly 8% from a record high the day before,” Reuters said

US and key global data

It was risk-on from the start following data that showed China’s factory activity in November increased at its fastest pace in a decade.

A number of other countries reported sharp upticks in factory activity as well. 

US Manufacturing PMI came in as expected at 56.7pts, unchanged from the previous month. ISM manufacturing data for November declined in new orders, production, and employment. Employment is at a three month low but other indicators are still solid.

”European inflation remains weak and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. The headline CPI for the Eurozone was unchanged and aligned with expectations at -0.3% YoY for November,” analysts at ANZ bank argued. 

Meanwhile, UK Manufacturing PMI lifted in November to its strongest level in nearly 3 years. ”Although some of the demand has been put down to stockpiling of goods due to the uncertainty associated with Brexit,” the analysis ts at ANZ noted.