If bullish investors are to be believed, the election is over—and Joe Biden has won
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Good morning, Bull Sheeters. First, a bit of politics.
Here’s the state of play, according to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Fox News: Donald Trump has one path to 270. He needs to win Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina. Joe Biden has four ways to get over the hump, and win the presidency; he needs just six votes. CNN is less aggressive calling states, meanwhile, saying Biden holds a 253-213 lead.
The markets have already crowned the winners, starting with gold, tech, health care and consumer discretionary stocks. Meanwhile, financials and utilities—the value stocks that would have gained from a giant Democrat-led stimulus package—are stumbling.
Impressively, yesterday’s post-election rally was one for the record books. Why? Because, even with the threat of recounts and lawsuits, the markets are betting on a victor. “While neither candidate can authoritatively declare victory, markets appear to expect former U.S. Vice President Biden to become U.S. president-elect, with a Republican Senate and a Democrat House,” UBS chief economist Paul Donovan writes in an investor note this morning.
Meanwhile, let’s see where investors are putting their money.
- The major Asia indexes are higher with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng the best of the bunch, up 3.3% in afternoon trading.
- Two clear winners have emerged so far from the 2020 U.S. election: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, both of whom are likely to benefit from a divided electorate and divided Washington.
- Investors are calling the suddenly canceled Ant Group IPO the “biggest busted trade in stock market history.” The dual listing had attracted a staggering $3 trillion in orders from investors looking to cash in, Bloomberg reports.
- The European bourses were higher out of the gates with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.9%. Yep, tech stocks were surging.
- The Bank of England this morning delivered a bigger than expected 150 billion pound ($195 billion) shot of stimulus to a teetering British economy that goes into a partial lockdown today. The pound sterling and FTSE climbed at the open.
- 189 countries signed the Paris Agreement back in 2015. Yesterday, it lost a key member, the United States, the first major economy to exit the climate-protection pact. Even still, there are encouraging signs the corporate world and local governments will continue to do their part to reduce emissions.
- U.S. futures are far more stable than they were 24 hours ago, solidly in the green. That’s after all three major indexes rallied on the prospect of a Biden presidency and split Congress.
- Tech stocks were the big winners yesterday with Uber Technologies and Lyft closing up by 14.6% and 11.3%, respectively, after California voters passed a proposition allowing the ride-hailing firms to continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.
- The “blue wave stimulus trade,” as it was being called on the eve of Election Day, looks remote. On cue, investors yesterday punished financials, utilities, industrials and materials—the sectors that would have benefited from a big, fat Biden-Dems spending plan.
- Gold is up, trading around $1,920/ounce.
- Bitcoin bulls are sending the cryptocurrency to new heights. It was up about 6%, trading at one point above $14,500.
- The dollar is lower, creeping down as Biden’s odds on the White House rise.
- Crude is lower, with Brent trading above $40/barrel.
A rally for the record books
William Jennings Bryan was also a Democrat.
In praise of partisan division
“The S&P 500 historically has done quite well under a divided Congress, up more than 17% on average,” analysts at LPL Financial wrote in a note Wednesday. Fortune‘s Anne Sraders digs into the numbers.
Stimulus in doubt… tax hike out?
“A divided Congress will make it more difficult to pass the big $2 trn+ ‘blue wave’ fiscal package that some market participants are hoping for. This is the scenario which many in markets saw as the most positive potential result a while ago as a Republican-majority Senate could prevent tax hikes.” — Holger Schmieding, Chief Economist of Berenberg Bank.
While the markets rally, public health officials fret
At this rate, the U.S. will surpass 10 million confirmed COVID cases by Monday.
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Monday morning in Beijing. The breath-taking unraveling of the Ant Group IPO began with a hastily called meeting. Alibaba founder Jack Ma was summoned to the China Securities Regulatory Commission where he was informed the deal was off. Bloomberg recreates what happened in that fateful meeting that's shaken the investing world.
The state of play. Is the blue wave well and truly dead? Stimulus-package fans, the odds aren't looking good. Here are the states where U.S. Senate races have yet to be been called.
Congress's new crypto bull. Given Bitcoin's recent rally, this item should come as no surprise. Wyoming voters on Tuesday elected Cynthia Lummis to the U.S. Senate, "the first member of Congress’s upper chamber to own cryptocurrency," reports Fortune's Jeff John Roberts. It comes as Wyoming has passed a series of laws to promote crypto commerce and crypto banking.
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As America holds its breath...the world cracks jokes
American elections are uniquely gripping affairs. You have to admit, these nail-biters make for great television viewing. To many foreign observers, the race to 270 has an almost gameshow-like quality. If it seems like the entire world is following every disputed vote-count in places like Maricopa County, Detroit and Philadelphia, it's probably because the entire world is. With the help of my colleague David Meyer, I chronicled some of the most humorous Election Day quips, cracks and observations from around the world. Call it a bit of levity as we wait out a vote-count that could get nasty.