Hope all is well. After slipping the previous week, the major U.S. stock indexes regained the positive momentum that they have largely had over the past three months. Optimism over earnings results and the U.S. political transition helped to lift the NASDAQ about 4%, the S&P 500 2%, and the Dow less than 1%. In honor of today’s conference championship football games, I have broken down the news using quotes from legendary members of each of the remaining teams.
"The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall." -Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers
The market is continuing the historic rise from the lows we hit last March. Growth stocks which have led the way for much of the rebound had stalled recently but this week they reestablished their leadership position. U.S. growth stocks outperformed their value counterparts by a wide margin, as a growth stock benchmark climbed nearly 4%. The U.S. housing market is also continuing to climb. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes rose in 2020 to the highest level since 2006, lifted in part by ultralow interest rates.
You may not be on the greatest team in the world, but set your goals on what you want to accomplish. No doubt you have the ability to do that. -Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs
Corporate earnings continue to beat expectations despite the weak economic environment. We have been chock full of positive earnings surprises. As of Friday, 86% of the S&P 500 companies that had reported fourth-quarter results that exceeded analysts’ earnings estimates. That 86% beat rate ranks above the 74% five-year average, and it could lead to the first overall quarterly earnings increase since the fourth quarter of 2019.
"Democracy is not a mathematical deduction proved once and for all time. Democracy is a just faith fervently held, commitment to be tested again and again in the fiery furnace of history." - Jack Kemp Buffalo Bills
After a trying two weeks for our nation and our democracy. The inauguration was held without incident and power was peacefully transferred. Stocks rose as a result. U.S. stock indexes posted their best results of the week on Wednesday as President Joe Biden took office. For the S&P 500 and the Dow, it was the best Inauguration Day performance since 1985, when Ronald Reagan was sworn in for his second term.
“There’s still a lot to be done.”- Doug Williams Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Next week all eyes will be on the U.S. Federal Reserve as the market rebound and economic recovery have been encouraging but we are still a ways away from being back to business as normal. The Fed is widely expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged—and at a near-zero level—when it concludes a two-day meeting next Wednesday. Fed statements will be closely watched for any indications about the central bank’s intentions to maintain its current monetary policy stance throughout 2021.
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