Company results are thin on the ground, but there's still plenty for investor to get their teeth into.
Retailers are in focus on both sides of the pond as “Cyber Monday” follows “Black Friday”.
Unsurprisingly, the number of physical shoppers reported was comparatively low last week as online became the preferred purchase channel. It remains to be seen whether this switch in shopping habits becomes entrenched post-pandemic.
Despite a shortened trading week in the US due to the Thanksgiving celebration, the Nasdaq managed to hit a new record high in limited trading on Friday.
Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide further opportunities for the likes of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the index as a whole, already bolstered by the work from home culture, is now ahead by 36% in the year to date. The other main indices also cemented cumulative gains, with the Dow Jones now up by 5% and the S&P 500 almost 13% during 2020.
With the markets now back in full swing, the issues of the transition of power in the US, pandemic effects and fiscal stimulus will all resume importance to the investors, with the non-farm payrolls figure on Friday providing further economic clues.
In the UK, Brexit remains centre stage as the outcome of the negotiations is still undecided. Investors are hoping that a last-gasp compromise will prevent the economic pain of a no-deal to both parties. For the UK, this has particular ramifications given the parlous state of the economy both now and post-pandemic – a further deterioration of the nation’s finances would be a material blow.
With very little corporate news this week, the macro issues are likely to come under further focus as we move into the final month of the year. The FTSE 100 has had a much improved November, being lifted by the global tide of improved sentiment, especially on vaccine news, and the index has spiked by 14%. Even so, the fact that it remains down by 16% in the year to date gives context to what has been a tumultuous year.
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