4:20 pm: Stocks lose momentum amid Capitol riots
The Nasdaq, which began the day in the red but surged mid session, returned to negative territory as the Capitol building in Washington DC was stormed by pro-Trump rioters. The tech-laden index ended 78 points lower, 0.6%, at 12,741.
The Dow faded slightly off its intraday high but still ended up more than 437 points, 1.4%, at 30,829. The S&P 500 improved 21 points, 0.6%, to 3,748.
The CBOE Volatility Index moved higher going into the close, CNBC reported.
Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff have each been projected to win election to the US Senate in Georgia. The riots began just as Congress began to meet to count the Electoral COllege votes and officially declare Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election.
12:30 pm: Wall Street roars to life
The Dow gained 472 points, 1.5%, to reach 30,863 at midday after being up more than 500 earlier in the session. The Nasdaq rose 63 points, 0.5%, to 12,882, and the S&P 500 advanced 43 points, 1.1%, to 3,770.
Democrat Raphael Warnock is projected to win his US Senate race in Georgia, and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff is currently leading Republican Sen. David Perdue. Should they both win, many expect more spending from a Democrat-controlled Senate.
10:30 am: Proactive North America headlines:
African Gold Group Inc (CVE:AGG) (OTCMKTS:AGGFF) (FRA:3A61) extends drilling at flagship Kobada gold project after more encouraging assays
AIM ImmunoTech Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:AIM) (FRA:HXB2) announces first COVID-19-induced chronic fatigue ‘Long Hauler’ patient dosed with Ampligen
Pacton Gold Inc (CVE:PAC) (OTCPINK:PACXF) (FRA:2NKM) outlines 2021 drilling campaign at its two Ontario gold properties
American Manganese Inc (CVE:AMY) hails publication of paper on its lithium-ion battery cathode recycling process in Journal of the Electrochemical Society
KULR Technology Group Inc (OTCQB:KULR) announces “strong” preliminary 4Q revenue of up to $250,000
9:52 am: Wall Street opens mixed
The main Wall Street indices opened on a mixed footing on Wednesday morning as political developments and bleak economic data were combined with some positive vaccine news to contrast sentiment among traders.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.33% to 30,494, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.09% to 3,724 and the Nasdaq fell 0.85% to 12,708.
The gloomier attitude by some may have been caused by the latest US ADP jobs figures, which showed the American private sector lost 123,000 jobs in December, much worse than predictions of 75,000 jobs added.
Large businesses were the biggest cause of the drop, cutting 147,000 jobs while medium businesses added 37,000 and small businesses cut 13,000. The effects of the pandemic also seemed to be bleeding through with the service industry cutting 105,000 jobs during the month.
Also at the front of traders minds will be the upcoming counting of the US electoral college votes in Congress later which could produce political fireworks as a handful of Republican congressmen plan to object to the results.
However, traders may have also been given a positive boost by more news on the vaccine front after Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) received approval for its COVID-19 vaccine from EU regulators. Shares in the pharma firm jumped 2.9% to US$112.36 in early deals.
7:50 am: Wall Street heads for mixed
Wall Street is expected to see a much tamer session, with futures pointing at a green open for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and a red one for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
The US is focusing on politics once again as the results of the dual Senate election in Georgia should be announced later today.
The upper house is currently controlled by the Republicans and the Democrats need to win both seats to have a tiny majority in the Senate.
“The elections are going down to the wire and it was reported that Raphael Warnock of the Democrats is projected to win his race,” noted David Madden at CMC Markets.
“Joe Biden has big plans with respect to infrastructure spending so Democrats taking the Senate would make his life a lot easier.”
According to Marshall Glitter at BDSwiss Group, a win by both Democrats would mean a weaker dollar because the Fed is in no mood to hike rates any time soon.
“I think they’ve switched to targeting unemployment rather than inflation, and it will take a long time before US unemployment gets back to where it was,” he said.
“Meanwhile, higher inflation and steady low yields equals lower real yields which equals a weaker dollar.”
Four things to watch for on Wednesday:
- Aside from the results from Georgia, other political news will also be dominating the headlines as Congress gathers for the formal counting of the electoral college votes and to officially certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory. While this process is usually a formality, there is potential for fireworks as several Republican politicians have said they will formally object to the results as they are counted
- Macro data in focus today will be the US ADP employment data for December, which is expected to show a slowdown in private sector employment growth to 88,000 jobs added in the month compared to 307,000 in November
- Other economic data that may attract interest is the US services PMI for December and factory orders for November
- The results calendar will see a small spark of big cap action with second quarter earnings due from building materials maker RPM International Inc (NYSE:RPM)