S&P 500 futures have recovered the majority of yesterday’s slide that stemmed from cold water being poured on top of Moderna’s potential coronavirus vaccine phase-one trial results. The StatNews report highlighted that Moderna didn’t produce data critical to assessing Covid-19 vaccine. It is possible that Moderna rushed out this data on Monday as they accidentally referenced it on a Friday press conference and that is why they did not include all the data that normally comes with the first press release.
US equities are showing signs of resilience after the testimonies from both Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin remind more stimulus is likely just around the corner and that US will continue to reopen the economy. All 50 states have now eased some coronavirus-related restrictions.
Investors are pretty much convinced that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be found over the next year, and whether it is Moderna’s or another one will not change the outlook for equities. Right now the biggest risk to the stock market is if we start to see massive spikes of new coronavirus cases with states that were early to reopening.
Investors have their eyes on the Fed Minutes which could show how close they were to adding more stimulus.
Negative rates are here. History was made today when Britain sold its 2023 gilt with a negative yield. This was the first UK maturity with a negative yield, making another European country join the negative yielding government debt camp. Expectations for the BOE to cut rates continue to grow as the two-year benchmark gilt sank further into negative territory. The British pound could remain vulnerable as Brexit talks head toward another crucial deadline and as inflation hits a four-year low, likely raising calls for the BOE to expand QE.
Oil’s turnaround continues as all 50-states have now eased some coronavirus-related restrictions and as falling API inventories indicate the US is doing their share to help rebalance oil markets. Today’s EIA weekly oil inventory report is expected to indicate production cuts are continuing and possibly showing some signs that demand is stabilizing.
Gold is bouncing back on skepticism with Moderna’s potential vaccine and as the pandemic stimulus response will continue to put pressures on central banks to deliver negative interest rates. The UK’s first negative yielding bond sale is a reminder that BOE might have to go with negative interest rates, despite all their opposition.
Gold will continue to attract more investors as more countries sell government debt with a negative yield.