Market Outlook and Improving Trends
Common sense seems to be bringing people around to the fact that lockdowns don't work. The governor of NY and the mayor of Chicago are calling for the re-opening of their respective areas as businesses continue to suffer from the effects of lockdowns. As a side note, NY is still making new highs for daily cases while Illinois is making new lows. Meanwhile, more than 10 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the U.S. as of Friday. In addition, the daily positivity rate for new cases has dropped from 13.7% two weeks ago to 10.4% as of yesterday. This is equal to the lows we saw just before Christmas.
On the economic front, while some of the data disappointed last week - namely, Jobless Claims and Small Business Optimism - the overall economic health appears to be stable. The National Financial Conditions Index slightly improved last week and the Fed's Financial Stress Index remains low. Holiday Sales proved better than expected with +8.3% growth on a year-over-year basis.
Investors will be eyeing what the incoming Biden administration will be laying out in terms of fiscal policy in the days ahead. Wall Street is trying to get its arms around a $1.3 trillion stimulus package floated by the Biden administration last week. Speeches from incoming administration officials will be heavily scrutinized as earnings for the 4th quarter continue pouring in this week.
Below is our Full Market Recap and 2021 Market Outlook.