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U.S. Stocks Declined While Asian Futures Rallied Wednesday

 U.S. stocks lowered from record highs on Wednesday. Small-cap companies posted their biggest drop in a month. The dollar weakened as prospects faded for larger U.S. government aid checks to individuals.

 

The S&P 500 Index tumbled down by 0.2%, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged forward by 0.8%. Meanwhile, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed up by 1.4%, and the MSCI Emerging Market Index soared by 1.1%.

 

On the other hand, the Russell 2000 Index plummeted down by almost 2%. After the U.S. House-backed former President Donald Trump’s proposal to increase aid checks for individuals, a gauge of global equities headed to close at a record. However, it tumbled down from its high of the day after Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ attempt to raise the direct payments to $2,000 from $600.

 

The 2020 year is ending with risk assets such as stocks, Bitcoin, and corporate bonds just off record highs. Traders try to gauge the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, along with the pace of U.S. vaccine distribution. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 seems set to end this year 15% higher despite recent losses.

 

It seems some governments are preparing to impose more restrictions for fighting the spread of the new, more infectious version of Covid-19. The virus hospitalizations in the U.S. are reaching new highs. Meanwhile, Southern California discusses extending a regional stay-at-home order.

 

In Asia, South Korea’s daily toll of fatalities jumped to a record, and Thailand reported its first Covid-19 death in November.

 

What’s happening in Europe?

 

The Stoxx 600 jumped higher in Europe on Wednesday as the FTSE 100 Index skyrocketed in the first session since Britain’s Brexit trade deal with the European Union. At the same time, uncertainty about financial services weighed on NatWest Group Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, and Barclays Plc.

 

Investors are waiting for U.S. pending home sales data, along with goods trade balance data. Both of them are due on Wednesday.

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