Jittery Markets Await Georgia Outcome

Investors are on edge at the day’s outset while voters in Georgia go to the polls to determine control of the U.S. Senate. Yesterday’s unexpected equity sell-off is continuing in a milder form as futures point to a weak market opening. The Treasury market has not benefitted from the political angst and bond prices are also slightly lower. Yield for Ten-Year bonds hovers near 94 basis points while the Long Bond commands 1.68%. On the short-end, the Two-Year is holding pretty steady at 11 basis points as the yield curve becomes slightly more steeply sloped.

News-wise, the Institute of Supply Management is expected to report later this morning that its Manufacturing PMI fell slightly last month to 56.8 from 57.5. Investors were surprised yesterday when Markit U.S., in a similar report, announced that its Manufacturing Index rose to 57.1 from 56.5 instead of falling to 56.3 as forecasters expected. Also today, Ward’s Automotive Group will announce Total Vehicle Sales for December and they’re expected to come in at a 15.8M annualized pace. November’s count was 15.55M.Baker Crude oil is up a little more than half-a-dollar to $48.31 while gold’s continuing rally takes that price to $1,948.