Hope all is well. It was a mixed week for stocks, as the Dow recorded a slight gain and the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ posted modest declines. An improved economic outlook lifted many stocks in the energy and financial sectors, which tend to be more sensitive to shifting economic conditions than other market segments. I have broken down this week's news using quotes from classic movies from the 1970s.
"I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them."-Vito Corleone
The fate of the retail sector results continues to be dependent on the lawmakers. U.S. retail sales rose 5.3% in January compared with the previous month, surpassing economists’ expectations and snapping a three-month string of decreases. The rebound was attributed in large part to stimulus payments that Americans received as part of a $900 billion measure that Congress approved in late December.
“When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. "– King of the Swamp Castle
People are seeking out their own castles. The demand for houses is skyrocketing as the exodus from cities continues. The housing market continues to be a catalyst for the broader U.S. economy, as a shortage of homes for sale continued to push prices higher in January. The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes rose 0.6% in January compared with December. Relative to January of 2020, sales jumped nearly 24%.
There is a useful four letter word, and you're full of it! -James Bond
BOND...Government Bond. Prices of U.S. government bonds fell, as longer term bonds continue to be a terrible investment. Bond prices move opposite interest rates and the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond to the highest level in nearly a year. The 10-year yield rose on Friday to around 1.34%; the 30-year U.S. Treasury also rose, with a yield of around 2.14%. This is still very low by historical standards which means continued pain for investors in the bond market as interest rates rise.
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