John Hancock: Weekly Market Recap Week Ended December 11th
Change in direction
The S&P 500 fell for the first time in three weeks as investors assessed prospects for further economic stimulus and U.S. regulatory approval of a new coronavirus vaccine. The major indexes slipped less than 1%, retreating from record highs.
The European Central Bank expanded its economic stimulus program, citing risks that spiking coronavirus cases pose to the continent’s economy. The bank agreed to increase its asset-purchasing program by $605 billion, extend the program’s duration to at least March 2022, and grant more subsidized loans to banks.
More than 850,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment claims in the latest weekly report, exceeding economists’ expectations. The total was the largest since mid-September—further evidence that the economic recovery and the labor market are under pressure as coronavirus cases spike
The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled on Wednesday to conclude its last policy meeting of the year. While no policy changes affecting interest rates are expected, observers will closely watch whether the Fed adjusts a bond-buying program to help potentially offset a recent slowdown in the economic recovery.