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GBP jumps on Brexit talks extension

The British pound has jumped in early trading this week after the UK Prime Minister and EU Commission President agreed to extend Brexit talks beyond Sunday.

The S&P 500 fell on Friday, wrapping up a losing week, as the outlook for additional fiscal stimulus remained uncertain. The Dow Jones eked out a gain of 0.2% as shares of Disney rallied. Both the Dow and S&P 500 posted their first weekly declines in three weeks, losing 0.6% and 1%, respectively. The Nasdaq dropped 0.7% this week. Friday’s moves came as negotiations over a coronavirus relief deal dragged on. Lawmakers seek to pass a bill before the end of 2020, but disagreements over state and local stimulus, unemployment assistance and stimulus checks still exist. European markets close lower as Brexit and U.S. stimulus doubts weigh. Treasury yields decreased through most of the week amid uncertainty over fiscal stimulus talks in the U.S. and Brexit trade negotiations. Commodities ended the week mixed.
Talks between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, on Wednesday failed to break the deadlock over a UK-EU trade deal. The two leaders agreed to set a “final” deadline of Sunday for their negotiating teams to make a last attempt to reach agreement.

• Asia-Pacific stocks are mostly up as investors react to Pfizer’s vaccine approval. Dow futures rise 150 points as stocks attempt to bounce back from losing week;
• MACRO numbers >>>
o China’s November home prices slowest since March as tightening steps cool market;
o Japan business sentiment improves as economy emerges from pandemic’s hit, Bank of Japan survey says;
• Commodities: China’s iron ore prices spike 10% to a record high on supply concerns;
• BULLS BEWARE ! Section 2022, a little-known provision of the U.S CARES Act eliminates the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty if you are under the age of 59 ½ and withdraw up to $100,000. Could this trigger a year-end selling deluge?;
• M&A: AstraZeneca is set to buy Alexion in a $39 billion immunology deal;
• BREXIT >>>
o EU and UK agree to continue Brexit trade deal talks. Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen vow to ‘go the extra mile’ to try to reach agreement;
o Cable jumped as much as 1.2% higher at $1.3378 in early trading after Brexit talks extension;
• Tesla tells employees Model S and X production will shut down for 18 days;
• According to a recent Alignable survey, 48 percent of U.S. small business owners fear that they could be forced to “shut down permanently” in the very near future…
• Deutsche Bank raises prospect of moving half its New York staff. US chief says employees could be shifted to lower-cost areas of country in next five years;
• U.S ELECTIONS >>> Clashes erupt after Trump loyalists march against election results. Members of far-right Proud Boys group among demonstrators to rally in Washington. Republicans urge Trump supporters to accept election results.

What Else?
• Eurozone banks are set to restart dividend payments under strict limits. Regulators are expected to announce conditions tighter than those outlined by Bank of England;
• Michael Jordan's New Golf Course uses drone to deliver beer to golfers;
• Cathie Wood's ARKK ETF passes JP Morgan for largest Active ETF: the ARKK ETF, which has a strategic 10% weighting in Tesla, is up 150% year-to-date;
• COVID UPDATES >> Pfizer begins shipping Covid-19 vaccine. Germany is set for hard lockdown as coronavirus surges. Leaders order shutdown of shops and schools as Covid-19 cases spiral ‘out of control’. Sweden’s neighbors offer medical help as second Covid wave intensifies as Stockholm region reports 99% of its intensive care beds are full but Finland and Norway stand ready to assist;

The Week Ahead
• Monday, Dec. 14
Macro: Japanese Tankan Q4; Japanese Services PMI; Chinese Industrial Production & Unemployment Rate, Eurozone Industrial Production;
Politics: Electoral College Meets to Vote on the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
• Tuesday, Dec. 15
Macro: French CPI, U.S. New York State Manufacturing Index, U.S. Industrial Production, Japanese Trade Balance.
• Wednesday, Dec. 16
Macro: U.K. CPI, U.K. PMIs, French & German Preliminary Services and Manufacturing PMIs, U.S. Retail Sales, U.S. FOMC Statement and Interest Rate Decision.
• Thursday, Dec. 17
Earnings: Accenture, General Mills;
Macro: U.K. Bank of England QE and Interest Rate Decision, U.S. Building Permits, U.S. Housing Starts, U.S. Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, Bank of Japanese Interest Rate Decision and Monetary Policy Statement.
• Friday, Dec. 18
Earnings: Darden Restaurants;
Macro: U.K. Retail Sales, German Ifo Business Climate Index; Politics: Deadline for U.S. Congress to Pass a Funding Bill to Avert Government Shutdown.

Quote of the day
“Never apologize for being yourself" - Paulo Coelho


GBP jumps on Brexit talks extension
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AirBnB IPO today
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