Week of February 16, 2021

Bill Hastie |

Coming off yet another record-setting week for the S&P 500 and NASDAQ, the U.S. equity markets begin this morning with market futures pointing to fresh new records in all three major stock market indices.  Enthusiasm for positive corporate earnings reports this week, along with President Biden’s $1.9 trillion fiscal aid package, has investors willing to buy stocks and continue what looks to be a February rally.

COVID cases are declining rapidly to averaging 85,798 new infections being reported, down 41% from just two weeks ago.  Many states continue to struggle to get either of the vaccines distributed to the general public, with even the front-line medical and those working with the public still not completely vaccinated.  Reports of the number of daily administered vaccines are now approaching 2 million.

Driven by policies of the Biden administration, oil prices continue their climb from just one month ago.  At that time, the price of oil was 48.73, but currently seeing oil increase to 53.60, up more than 10% in a month.

Gold prices have broken through the $1,800/ounce level, indicating the absence of inflation, or at least the outlook for little inflation going forward.  This comes as good news to bond investors as rising inflation pushes bond prices down.  In the last week, however, bond prices have declined across the board with the Bloomberg Barclay’s U.S. Aggregate Bond Index dropping 0.13%, following a decline of 0.39% the week before.