Show an ad over header. AMP

Markets ride the blue wave

Markets got a shot in the arm from fiscal stimulus expectations last week, but it's not negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration that's got investors' attention — it's the largesse of spending expected from Pelosi, President Joe Biden and a Democratic Senate in 2021.

What's happening: Trump's polling numbers have fallen through the floor since the first presidential debate on Sept. 29.

  • They continued falling after his COVID-19 diagnosis was revealed Oct. 2.
  • Polls showed further declines after he announced on Twitter that he was pulling out of stimulus negotiations and backtracked within hours.
  • And they may fall further after a New York Times story released this weekend raised allegations of Trump illegally financing his 2016 campaign with a secret loan that exceeded legal limits.

The bottom line: "New surveys fall into two buckets: those that are bad for Trump, and those that are horrible," Politico notes in a recent analysis. The intrigue: Investors believe Trump will likely drag down Senate Republicans in tight races, as GOP-held Senate seats in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina are heavily favoring Democrats, with Iowa now leaning toward the Democratic challenger.

  • Democrats need to net just three seats to get a 50/50 chamber split, with a tie-breaker held by the vice president.
  • Data from Raymond James puts the likelihood of Democrats taking control of the Senate at 66%, up from 55% before the debate, and FiveThirtyEight's average of national surveys puts the chances at 68%.

Listen to the market: The reflation trade that unwound in September leading to the fastest market correction in history for the Nasdaq has found new life since the presidential debate and particularly at the end of last week.

  • In addition to the Nasdaq and S&P 500 jumping more than 4% since Sept. 30, gold and silver have popped since Oct. 7 — with silver gaining 3.3% in just those two sessions — and the dollar index has declined.
  • Stocks and precious metals fell in September, with the S&P off by 4.5% and silver declining by 18% during the month. The dollar was up 1.7%.

One level deeper: Long-term inflation expectations also have picked up in recent days, boosting Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities prices.

  • The 30-year U.S. breakeven rate closed just above 1.85% on Friday, its highest since July 2019 and less than 15 basis points from the Fed's all-important 2% threshold, per Tradeweb.
  • The 10-year breakeven rate closed above 1.73%, up 13 basis points since the end of September.
Reproduced from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; Chart: Axios Visuals

With a Democratic Congress, Biden is expected to add at least $650 billion dollars more to the deficit than President Trump would and up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, according to a new analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

  • And that doesn't even include pandemic-related spending.

Yes, but: For both campaigns, "considerable policy ambiguity exists," CRFB said in its analysis of the plans.

  • "The Biden campaign website features 48 different plans, most of which include dozens of individual policy proposals that overlap in some cases."
  • "We identified more than 800 distinct proposals."

Be smart: Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields also rose meaningfully at the end of last week on blue wave expectations, and higher yields (especially for the benchmark 10-year note) could prompt the Fed to expand its quantitative easing program to include more purchases of 10-, 20- and 30-year bonds, another potential boost for equities.

  • “There is still quite a bit of flexibility in the asset purchase side right now, and it allows us flexibility to also provide more accommodation if that's necessary,” Chicago Fed president Charles Evans told Yahoo Finance Thursday.

Defense makes closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Keep reading... Show less

Merrick Garland: Domestic terrorism is "still with us" and remains critical threat

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

Keep reading... Show less

"Nine minutes and 29 seconds": Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less

European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Keep reading... Show less

81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

Keep reading... Show less

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

Keep reading... Show less

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories