US Close – Last Full Trading Day of the Year, Quadruple Witching, Profit-taking, and priced in stimulus relief sends stocks lower

US stocks are lower on the last full trading of the year as profit-taking and quadruple witching trigger volatility. Adding to the selling pressure was Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmation that the US will blacklist Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp and dozens of other Chinese firms.

Risk appetite over the past few days has been fueled on optimism Congress would finally deliver a coronavirus relief bill. Some investors that bought the rumor and don’t have the patience to wait for the actual bill to get finalized, are closing out of positions. Labor market weakness makes this COVID relief bill appear very certain despite a new red line that looks to restrict the Fed’s ability to revive expiring lending programs.

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst - The Americas at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geopolitical events and monetary policies around the world. Over the course of his career, he has worked with some of the world’s leading forex brokerages and research departments including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including BNN, CNBC and Bloomberg, and is often quoted in leading publications including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.
Ed Moya