CNBC Daily Open: The bulls are back on Wall Street

In this article

Snow covers the Charging Bull sculpture in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., December 17, 2020.
Jeenah Moon | Reuters
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What you need to know today

Hot markets
U.S. markets continued their winning streak Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average scaled a new peak, while the S&P 500’s just 0.6% away from surpassing its record close in January 2022. Asia-Pacific stocks rose Wednesday. But mainland China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.46% as the country’s central bank left its one- and five-year loan prime rates unchanged for the fourth straight month.

More Alibaba shakeup
Alibaba Group CEO Eddie Wu will be assuming the role of CEO of the company’s Taobao and Tmall e-commerce business, the company announced Wednesday. Wu will be replacing Trudy Dai, who’s one of the 18 cofounders of Alibaba and will be helping to establish an asset management company, according to an internal letter seen by CNBC.

Failed delivery
FedEx shares sank more than 9% in extended trading after the company said it expects its revenue for the fiscal year to decline by a low single digit. That’s below FedEx’s initial forecast for sales to remain flat year over year, and likely worse than analysts’ expectation of less than a 1% drop in revenue. The company’s adjusted earnings per share for the current quarter also disappointed.

VC funding’s returning
This year has been rather barren in terms of venture capital funding in Asia-Pacific, according to a report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company. Funding in the region dropped to $20.3 billion in the third quarter, the lowest since the first quarter of 2017. But venture capital firms expect fundraising to pick up next year — for tech firms that demonstrate “clear” paths to profitability, the report said.

[PRO] Energy boost
Energy stocks are the only sector left out of November’s stock market rally. And the International Energy Agency expects oil demand to slow down in 2024, suggesting that the outlook for the energy sector isn’t that bright. But one portfolio strategist’s bucking the trend, and is bullish on energy stocks’ long-term prospects.

The bottom line

You can almost hear the bulls charging in. In June, the S&P 500 rose 20% from its lows, causing many to claim the start of a new bull market. But the ostensible bull market then was still missing a crucial ingredient: Setting a new high.

Six months later, that’s where the markets are headed. The S&P rose 0.59% Tuesday to close at 4,768.37, putting it just 0.6% away from its record close in January 2022.

Investors appear to be anticipating all-time highs. Or perhaps “anticipating” is too mild a word — they seem to be clamoring to be part of that historical event. The SPDR S&P 500 Trust, an ETF that tracks the broad-based index, reported inflows of more than $20 billion on Monday.

“While we can’t say there is a clear correlation between significant inflows and performance, that size is notable and perhaps speaks to a ‘get me in’ mentality?” wrote BTIG technical strategist Jonathan Krinsky.

And if the S&P does indeed notch a new high in the upcoming days (and it seems more likely than not), there’s a good chance the index could rally even further, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

“Essentially, we have seen every move above that prior bear market level to be positive,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” ”It’s not as if we then just turned right around immediately and ended up selling off.”

The other major indexes had a good day as well. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.68%, continuing its streak of setting fresh highs, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.66% to close above the 15,000 level for the first time since January 2022.

“This bias of buying stocks is taking hold,” said Kim Forrest, founder at Bokeh Capital Partners. “And unless news changes it, we’re probably going to drift higher every single day because of it.”

It seems the metaphorical bulls (and a literal one!) are, indeed, taking the street by storm.

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