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“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.“ – Unknown
Major US indices are on pace to finish a down week on a positive note as long-term interest rates continue to rise, and the dollar is on pace to close at a 52-week low. Earnings news has been mixed, but the notable laggard is Intel (INTC) which is down over 10% following another weak report last night after the close.
Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for a rundown of the latest stock-specific news of note, market performance in the US and Europe, key earnings data from the US and Europe, mixed manufacturing and services sector PMI data, trends related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and much more.
We haven’t talked about the yield curve (which we measure as the spread between the yields on the 10-year and 3-month US Treasuries) much lately, but it deserves some attention based on recent moves. Driven by higher rates at the long end of the curve, the yield curve stands at 77.36 basis points (bps) as of this morning. Not since late March have we seen a steeper reading. Back in June, the curve saw a brief surge on investor optimism of a smooth re-opening as COVID cases had been on the decline. That spike in the curve didn’t last long as cases in the South spiked up in early Summer. This time around the steeper curve has occurred against a backdrop of deteriorating trends on the COVID front similar in magnitude to what was seen in the Summer, but with polls showing odds for the Democratic party to see a sweep in early November, the prospect of a big relief bill looks more likely, pushing long-term rates higher. Whether that happens only time will tell, but that’s at least what polls are currently showing.