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Merger And Acquisition Activity, Stimulus Hopes, Higher Yields

Merger And Acquisition Activity, Stimulus Hopes, Higher Yields

Key Takeaways:

  • Volatility ebbing after spike earlier in the week
  • Aid for struggling airlines a top focus in ongoing stimulus talks
  • AMD reportedly in talks to buy rival chipmaker Xilinx
    XLNX

An election with far-reaching policy implications—one way or the other—is less than a month away. Big banks are set to kick off what could be a challenging earnings season. Fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 have been reported here and abroad. And a Category 3 hurricane—the 25th named storm this season—is about to make landfall in the U.S.

And yet, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and other indices find themselves within striking distance of all-time highs as a rally enters its third day early Friday. The Dow Jones Transportation Average ($DJT) has actually made new all-time highs. After touching 30 earlier in the week, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) has fallen 13% and starts the day with a 25-handle. Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has picked up in earnest this week (see more below). And Treasury yields have been inching toward normalcy, and could be poised for a breakout to the upside.

If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s that markets have the power to surprise, if not confound, even the most seasoned investor. That’s important to remember as we enter the election home stretch and prepare for the often-notable Q3 earnings season.

Is this a rally that’s got some legs? Or is it more like a market without much conviction, but one where few people want to get in the way of the upward momentum? We saw on Tuesday how things can turn back on a dime, but the quick recovery that started Wednesday and has carried through until Friday morning might hint that anyone trying to go short here faces a challenge.

If the

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