Trump Almost Waivers, Asia Trade Deal, Stocks Set to Rise

Incumbent President Donald Trump is approaching the departure lounge. China orchestrates a massive Asia-trade, the world’s biggest-ever trade deal. Stocks will rise as Moderna vaccine news allows investors to look through alarming numbers of the pandemic spread. 

Trump Almost Admits Election Defeat

President Donald Trump is near acknowledging a defeat in the U.S. elections. Although he renounced what seemed to be a concession in a Tweet.

Trump refuses to release the funds and authorizations usual to the post-election transition process. This has angered Democrats and irritated Republicans, who have warned of the national security issues at stake.

A Threat to a More Weakened Response to COVID-19

The power vacuum in the federal administration threatens to further weaken the response to the pandemic. New cases and hospitalizations rose over the weekend.

On Sunday, the number of those hospitalized with Covid-19 was just under 70,000. It was more than double its level eight weeks ago. In only two weeks, the overall number of confirmed cases in the U.S. climbed from 9 million to 11 million. 

The highest rate since August, an average of 1,321 Americans died every day from the disease last week.  On the vaccine front, Moderna said early-stage data suggest its experimental Covid-19 vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing infection. Similar results from Pfizer supports the confidence that vaccines can help end the pandemic.

China Orchestrates Biggest Asia Trade Deal

China has corralled 14 Asia-Pacific region countries into what is the world’s biggest trade agreement at the weekend. This underlines the scale of the task that President-elect Joe Biden will have in U.S. leadership of the global economy.

Ironically, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) doesn’t include the whole region.  Moreover, it is far from comprehensive. 

It does at least lower tariffs on trade in a broad range of goods, though. And it’s something that’s likely to cement China’s dominance of the Asian economy.

Signatories to the deal include Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The deal covers one-third of the world’s population and one-third of its GDP.

Stocks Are Expected to Open Higher

U.S. stock markets are set to rise, as investors will be looking through the short-term surge in Covid cases. They will focus on the prospect of vaccines becoming available in the new year.

Dow 30 futures were up 277 points, or 0.9% by 6:30 AM ET (1130 GMT). Moreover, S&P 500 futures gained 0.8% and Nasdaq futures rose 0.6%.

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