Thursday, 3 December 2015

Stocks fall but holidays could bring more upbeat mood

US stocks fell on Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 1.1 percent, giving up its gains from Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the STOXX Europe 600 slipped less than 0.1 percent while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index, though, ended up 2.3 percent after a volatile session.

Yields on the US 10-year Treasury note climbed four basis points to 2.18 percent but yields on Spanish and Finnish debt fell to record lows.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures plunged 4.5 percent.

Wednesday's decline notwithstanding, this is the beginning of December, a period which historically has been good for stocks.

According to Mark Hulbert, the average recommended equity exposure among short-term stock market timers monitored by the Hulbert Financial Digest during December is 50.7 percent, markedly higher than the 44.3 percent average across all 12 months of the year.

Hulbert also noted that year-end seasonal strength in stocks became more pronounced in the UK and US around the times that Christmas in the respective countries became public holidays.

Hulbert concluded that "Wall Street’s mood during December is more upbeat than it is in the rest of the year" and that "it’s the holidays that deserve at least some of the credit".

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