Some good vaccine news came early in the week on a small study claiming positive outcomes and suggested, if the preliminary results can be confirmed, it could be on track to begin production for emergency use in the fall. There is still a long way to go to prove safety and efficacy, but the news helped rally the market on Monday with the S&P 500 up 3.15%.
Trade tensions are again on the rise between the U.S. and China, exacerbated by China’s announcement of plans to impose a national security law in Hong Kong, which caused the Hong Kong stock exchange to fall -5.6%, the worst day of almost five years.
Markit’s Composite PMI showed some modest improvement from the prior month, though still well in contractionary territory. Digging in, manufacturing was slightly improved, but Services showed a decent gain (36.9 vs. 26.7 last month).
The Conference Board’s U.S. Leading Index, a composite mix of underlying indicators, came in slightly better than expected, though still well in negative territory (-4.4% vs. -5.4% expected). However, it was an improvement from April’s figure, and the less bad news continues to be good news.
Many companies declined to offer forward guidance during the last earnings season. Still, most notably, China’s government drop its GDP for the first time since the 1980s on the back of the coronavirus fallout and delays the annual party meeting.
The amount of negative-yielding bonds grew late in the week with the U.K. selling their first negative-yielding bonds, priced at -0.003%.