Global stocks rallied and the British pound gained as Britain and the European Union closed in on a free-trade deal although S&P futures were flat in a very quiet session ahead of today’s shortened trading day. In China, Alibaba slumped after China launched an antitrust investigation into the e-commerce giant. The dollar and TSY yields were both slightly lower. Markets close at 1:00 PM ET today and will stay closed for Christmas holiday on Friday.
Energy stocks, including Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp, rose slightly in premarket trade, tracking strength in the crude market as a drop in U.S. stockpiles and hints of an imminent Brexit deal underpinned oil prices.
The S&P 500 and the Dow ended higher on Wednesday as investors rotated to cyclical and small cap stocks that stand to benefit most during a recovery, encouraged by COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and passing of the coronavirus relief bill. The rotation weighed on the Nasdaq, which ended lower. Investors largely shrugged off comments by Donald Trump that a nearly $900 billion stimulus bill, agreed upon after months of wrangling in Congress, was “a disgrace” that he might not sign.