China’s Recovery Is On Solid Footing

China’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing expanded for the ninth straight month, rising to a better-than-expected 52.1—the highest level since September 2017. The services gauge at 56.4 was even stronger, highlighting China’s effective virus containment. As recoveries for the United States and Europe stall, China’s growth continues to stand out globally.

Closing out a strong November. The S&P 500 Index opened lower with COVID-19, strong China data, oil prices, and holiday shopping in focus. The index will try to end a very strong November on a high note after gaining 11.3% month to date.

    • OPEC plus (including Russia) is meeting to discuss an extension to output curbs.
    • Online spending on Black Friday rose 22%, offsetting the roughly 50% drop in store traffic (source: Adobe Analytics, Sensormatic Solutions).
    • Asian markets were broadly lower, led down by Hong Kong (-2.1%).
    • European markets are flat to slightly higher in midday trading.

Technical update. US equities decisively broke out last week, with all major indexes closing out the holiday-shortened week at record highs. Stocks are slightly lower this morning. The US dollar has broken down to its lowest level since April 2018. Copper is soaring to its highest level since March 2013.

COVID-19 news. After a new record daily case count of 194,979 on Friday, US case growth slowed over the holiday weekend, resulting in a 5.4% decline in the seven-day average over the prior week—its slowest since September 14 (source: COVID Tracking Project).

    • Hospitalizations had a similar 4.3% weekly decline in the seven-day average.
    • Moderna plans to request clearance for its coronavirus vaccine in the United States and Europe today.
    • The United Kingdom may approve the shot from Pfizer and BioNTech within days.

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