Markets “In a Nutshell” for January 20, 2021
Investment Week at a Glance
Stocks finished mostly down for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.91%, the S&P 500 fell 1.48%, the New York Stock Exchange Composite (2,000 stocks) fell 0.49% and the average investors index (Value Line Index) was up 0.94%. Foreign stocks (DJ Global ex U.S.) were down 0.88%. Bond prices were higher for the week, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury ending the week 2 basis points lower at 1.11%. (Data source: Wall Street Journal)
Markets Fall On Stalling Economy
Stocks fell across the world last week as poor 4th quarter economic news regarding the labor market begins to trickle in and the blacklisting of Chinese companies from access to the U.S. market ended the string of optimistic financial news over the past month. The most concerning economic data was the rise in jobless claims that continues to hold back the economy and the spending power of many consumers across the country. One class of U.S. stocks did have a positive week with small cap stocks, tracked by the Russell 2000 Index, actually rising 1.51% for the week. Hopes for a large stimulus bill that is being presented by the new administration are sparking a significant rise in smaller companies that are poised to benefit from a massive inflow of government spending. (Barron’s)
Vaccine Rollout Continues
As the weeks pass on since the early December approval of the first vaccine for COVID-19, the speed of the distribution has caused some frustration for those who hoped to reach the optimistic goal of herd immunity by the middle of 2021. The administration released a reserve of available vaccines last week to jump start the immunization efforts and urged states to begin vaccinating those over the age of 65, moving on from first responders in higher risk areas. It seems that the results have not done much to speed up the rollout, as the pace continues to drag on for the time being. Only time will be able to tell how long it will take for vaccines to begin having the material affect in lowering deaths and cases that will result in states and cities beginning to open up economies again and give the much jolt that the country needs right now. (Barron’s)
How many major global economies were able to grow for the year 2020?
Have a Great Week!
2. China was the only major global economy to report positive growth for the year. (Wall Street Journal).