Equities posted a strong week as major indices pushed to record highs. The S&P 500 advanced 2.1% with the Energy Sector being a large catalyst. The S&P 500 Energy Sector is up 18.0% year-to-date and far outpacing the 4.2% advance in the S&P 500.
The economy grew by 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 as indicated by the first reading of GDP in 2021. This comes after growth of 33.4% in the third quarter.
Equities sold off sharply on Wednesday and finished the week slightly in the red. The S&P 500 was down 0.5% for the week. The NASDAQ outpaced small caps by 2.8% on early signs the growth outlook may not be as robust.
With the run-off elections in Georgia behind us and Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration completed; investors are left wondering what the impact will be on financial markets in the new environment of Democratic control of the federal government.
The holiday shopping season was weaker than expected. The December retail sales number shows a decline of 0.7% compared to the expected growth of 0.05%. The weakness came amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases over the holidays.
Happy New Year to all of you! 2020 was certainly a year we will all remember for quite some time. Despite the difficulties of the past year, our team has continued to rise to the occasion, providing invaluable insights and top-notch investment management and client service during an unpredictable time.
Equities posted a strong week with broad strength across global markets. The S&P 500 advanced 1.7% but was outpaced by both the NASDAQ and Russell 2000. The NASDAQ gained 3.1% with small caps up 2.6%.
The Energy and Financials sectors have started off the new year on the right foot. The Energy sector is up 7.8% in the first three trading days of the year and the Financials sector is up 3.42%.
Equities moved higher on the week to cap off a strong year. The S&P 500 was up 1.2% on the week, whereas the Russell 2000 Index of small caps pulled back 1.3%.
The housing market continues to be hot. In November, 6.690 million existing homes were sold. This number compares favorably to the expected 6.685 million. Construction on 1.547 million homes began in November as measured by the housing starts number, which is also stronger than the expected 1.525 million.