February 19, 2021 Weekly Market Update. With winter storms damaging the transportation of goods around much of the country, and literally shutting down the largest state of Texas, the U.S. equity markets were mixed for the week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average +0.11, the S&P 500 Index -0.71% and the Nasdaq -0.57%. The markets were down until Friday then uplifted by an Israeli study which reported an 85% effectiveness after one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and other reports of accelerated production in the coming weeks. To date, 83% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported fourth quarter earnings showing a +3.1% earnings growth rate, far surpassing the pre-earnings analyst estimates of an -8.8%.
February 13, 2021 Weekly Market Update. All major U.S. equity indexes moved to new highs on the year on effectiveness news of coronavirus vaccines and a national drop in hospitalization (-22%). The week's positive index returns are as follows: The Nasdaq +1.73%, the S&P 500 +1.23% and the Dow Jones Industrial +1.00%. With more people back at work jobless claims dropped to 793K which is the lowest level since the first week of the year while corporate earnings continue to rebound. Together with another massive stimulus package in the works the capital markets remain sanguine.
February 6, 2021 Weekly Market Update. On the heels of another massive $1.9 trillion stimulus approved by Congress the equity markets celebrated with sizable gains: Nasdaq +6.01%, S&P 500 +4.65% and Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.89%. The Plan will provide $1,600 direct payments along with unemployment extension and increase. The S&P 500 earnings season has been marked with robust financial results with 81% of companies haven beaten EPS estimates to date for Q4, which is tied for the 2nd highest EPS beat % since FactSet began tracking this metric in 2008. Amazon, Google and AbbVie were among a number of companies reporting strong results for the quarter.