Weekly Market Digest: Quiet Holiday Trading Closes Wild Year

Global stocks finished a wild year on a positive note, adding to gains in a quiet holiday trading week. Global spread of a new potentially more contagious strain of the virus and slower-than-hoped-for initial start to vaccine rollouts did little to put a damper on enthusiasm for expected growth in 2021 and 2022. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell. While Congress continues to debate stimulus relief, many began receiving the latest direct payments for up to $600 per person.

Weekly Returns

S&P 500: 3,747 (+1.2%)

FTSE All-World ex-US (VEU): (+1.4%)

US 10 Year Treasury Yield: 0.91% (-0.02%)

Gold: $1,901 (+1.1%)

EUR/USD: $1.222 (+0.3%)

Major Events

  • Monday – President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion stimulus bill including direct payments to most Americans.
  • Tuesday – Boeings 737 Max returned to service with an American Airlines flight.
  • Tuesday – The Case-Shiller 20-City U.S. home prices rose 7.9% in October from a year ago, the most since 2014. 
  • Wednesday – Colorado officials said they are investigating a possible second case of a new strain of COVID-19. 
  • Wednesday – The UK government outlined plans to move to a stricter tier of lockdowns on millions of people.
  • Thursday – Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell to 787,000.

Our Take

2020 was unique and dramatic. COVID-19 impacted every person in different and often profound ways. So many families suffered loss, hundreds of thousands of small businesses closed and millions of jobs vanished. A highly charged presidential election divided the country. The killing of George Floyd sparked demands for social justice. Global stocks lost about a third of their value at the outset of the pandemic, before rebounding sharply.

2021 begins with new perspective. Vaccines provide hope the virus will fade. For many, working remotely has had positive aspects. Accelerated digitalization of the economy comes with transition costs but also drives efficiencies and innovations.

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Disclaimer: The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should ...

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