- ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.8% to 7,389.00
- Dow Average up 1.5% to 35,751.35
- Aussie up 0.9% to 0.7116 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield rose 4.3bps to 1.4785%
- Australia 3-year bond yield rose 8bps to 0.96%
- Australia 10-year bond yield rose 7bps to 1.65%
- Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,784.76
- Brent futures up 3.2% to $75.39/bbl
- 11am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 1% 2031 Bonds
U.S. stocks staged the biggest rally since March, with major averages surging nearly 2% on optimism the omicron variant won’t derail global growth. Treasuries fell, sending two-year yields to the highest in nine months.
Risk assets are recovering this week after initial data showed the surge in omicron cases hasn’t overwhelmed hospitals and as China moved to expand support for the economy. Among the riskiest assets, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. basket of non-profitable tech firms jumped almost 7% Tuesday, clawing back nearly half of last week’s losses.
On the data front, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed while third quarter productivity fell. Private consumption was the largest contributor to the euro area’s most recent economic expansion. U.K. house prices hit an all-time high. And China’s exports grew faster than expected to a record on external demand and an easing power crunch.
You’ve heard the faint murmur of All I Want for Christmas Is You, you’ve seen people swapping their pumpkin spice lattes for Starbucks Eggnogs and Jill Biden has unveiled the White House’s Christmas decor. Yes, Christmas is officially here.
She’s following seasonal protocol: since 1889 the White House has been marking the beginning of the season with an interiors makeover. JFK and Jackie’s version gave Lana Del Rey and other fans of classic Americana inspiration for life, Lady Bird Johnson went “peace and love” in 1967 putting a wreath of flowers on hers, the Reagans gave it full 80s glam by allowing Mr T to co-star in the photo-op as Santa (JR from Dallas did the honours the following year) and Hillary Clinton memorably threw everything at her tree in classic overachiever style. She’s following seasonal protocol: since 1889 the White House has been marking the beginning of the season with an interiors makeover.
But never has the phrase “DECK THE HALLS!” sounded so threatening as when Melania Trump become chief of staff of interior Christmas decorating. Blood trees (Twitter never forgets), ivory white sticks that resembled witches fingers and enough Christmas lights that suggested a special cut-price deal with the power grid. The overall mise en scène Trump was emoting seemed to be The Handmaid’s Tale meets the launch of my premium brand of Glaceau smartwater in Elsa from Frozen’s ice castle.
Jill Biden has gone minimal by comparison. The theme is “Gifts from the Heart”. And if that sounds like the name of a Celine Dion Sings the Seasonal Classics-type affair, well, you’d be right. Dr Biden was inspired by the people she’d met while her husband was campaigning, according to Associated Press. There’s a gingerbread White House diorama, candy cane-like stockings sized apparently to fit a baby elephant’s foot and The Tree. Well, The Tree is bursting with life, with white tinsel wrapped around to look like white doves of peace. It’s polite. It’s safe. And after four years of hell, it’s just a relief.
Still, there’s certainly a wave of nausea when one looks at the gold-plated leaves adoring the tree in the light of the unemployment numbers and The Great Resignation.
With Omicron likely to become the Grinch that stole Christmas (again), maybe these pictures should be seen as normal-time placeholders. With your normally scheduled Christmas set to recommence some time in 2025. Now, let’s all suspend our collective beliefs and stare at those huge stockings again.