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Weekly Market Commentary 11/20/2020

-Darren Leavitt, CFA

Financial markets were mixed last week.  Cyclicals continued to outperform on news that Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccine trials have shown excellent results.  3rd quarter earnings continued with better than expected results out of NVidia, Target, and Walmart.  Boeing helped the industrial sector’s performance on news that the FAA has approved the 737 Max safe to fly again.  Tesla shares rose 20% on news that the company would be included in the S&P 500 index in December.  Economic data continued to be mixed with solid housing data and disappointing retail sales data.

Investors will undoubtedly take a closer look in the coming week at the Treasury Secretary’s move on Friday to cease five emergency lending facilities under the Cares Act by the end of December.  The move comes as the Federal Reserve has pleaded for more stimulus out of congress, not less.  There was also positive news out of the EU on late Friday that suggests the EU is 95% there on a BREXIT agreement.

The S&P 500 lost 0.8%, the Dow decreased 0.7%, the NASDAQ increased by 0.2%, and the Russell 2000 led with a gain of 2.4%.  US Treasury yields fell on the week, with the 2-year note yield decreasing by two basis points to close at 0.15% and the 10-year bond yield falling six basis points to 0.86%.  Gold prices continued to fall, losing $13.90 to close at $1872.90 an Oz.  Interestingly, Bitcoin eclipsed $18,000 on the week.  Oil prices increased another 5% or $2.05 to close at 42.17 a barrel, which again helped propel the energy sector higher for a second week.  There were no changes to our models during the week.

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