July 13, 2020

Bill Hastie |

Good Monday morning,

The U.S. equity markets closed higher last week, posting solid gains across the board. The Dow finished the week gaining 369.20 points, or +1.44%., leading the major market indices.  The S&P 500 and NASDAQ also with strong gains on Friday of 32.99 and 69.64 points, or 1.05% and 0.66%, respectively.

These gains are particularly impressive considering the worrisome resurgence of the coronavirus across several states, and the potential impact of the reclosures of bars, in-dining restaurants, and movie theaters (to name a few).

In early trading this morning, U.S. equities are continuing to build on last week’s strong performance and apparently are looking past the record number of coronavirus cases.  “COVID remains a huge problem with cased, hospitalizations and fatalities all climbing,” Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli said on Sunday.  “The market continues to absorb all this information relatively well and this seems to be a function of vaccine hopes, lower fatality rates vs. March and April, the avoidance of wholesale lockdowns, and the lack of a resurgence in the Northeast (esp NYC).

Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech were granted fast track designations by the FDA for two of the companies’ four vaccine candidates against the virus.  Pfizer and BioNTech sad they expect to start the next phase of the vaccine trial next month with 30,000 subjects.

Following a strong 2nd quarter for domestic stocks, July is so far proving to be keeping pace.  July month-to-date, the Dow and S&P 500 have gained 1.0% and 2.7%, respectively, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ continues to push through to new record highs and gaining 10.7% so far this month.