Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.6% to 7,115.00
  • Dow Average up 1.5% to 33,346.93
  • Aussie up 0.4% to 0.6703 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield little changed at 3.6842%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 7 bps to 3.23%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 0.2 bps to 3.73%
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,813.89
  • Brent futures up 3.0% to $82.38/bbl

Economic Events

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong met with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for the first state visit by a top Australian diplomat since 2018, where the two discussed trade, human rights and future dialog between the two countries.

US stocks rallied on Wednesday as an improvement in consumer confidence and better-than-expected earnings boosted sentiment. Treasuries were mixed after Tuesday’s selloff as the furore following the Bank of Japan’s unexpected increase in its yield trading band ebbed.

The S&P 500 rose for a second day, while the Nasdaq 100 climbed the most since late November. Both indexes are still down the most since 2008 for the year. The policy-sensitive two-year Treasury yield dropped four basis points on the day, while the benchmark 10-year yield remained fairly steady for most of the session.

Other News

Matthew Price, a corporate security guard in Danbury, Conn., has lately gotten a taste of what he doesn’t miss about the office during the holidays: unsolicited cookies, cupcakes and other treats employees drop off at his desk.

Last year, the pastry pile was much smaller, when fewer people were coming in due to Covid-19, says Mr. Price, who is typically stationed at the office building entrance. But as more commuters return this season, so have the sugary treats that Mr. Price sometimes dreads. Certain givers, he says, wildly overestimate their baking skills.

“I always accept them and try to eat them, but then I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this tastes bad,’” Mr. Price says.

Take the delivery of rock-hard rainbow cookies that were recently foisted upon him by a well-intentioned office worker. “I just put on a happy face and say, ‘Oh, thank you,’” he says.

Mr. Price takes such goodies home and gives them to his mom, who then re-gifts them to her co-workers.

For office workers, the influx of holiday goodies can quickly become a confectionery minefield, derailing diet plans and creating awkwardness, especially if the homemade pie isn’t a hit. And with flu season in full swing and Covid-19 still circulating, not all workers are ready for shared, potluck-style spreads at work.

The holiday snack haul begins in earnest right after Thanksgiving with co-workers bringing in leftover desserts and other calorie-rich fare. Others use the break room to discard untouched fruitcakes and panettone desserts.

(Wall Street Journal)