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Bob Carey
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  US Stock Markets Ended Feb. 12, 2021
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

 
The S&P 500 touched record highs last week as stocks finished up by almost 1%. Smaller market cap names in the Russell 2000 outperformed their larger cap peers by besting the group with a 2.3% return. Asset prices across multiple classes also rallied last week. Oil surpassed its 2020 high closing at almost $60 per barrel. Bitcoin also continues to climb as the cryptocurrency surpassed $47,000 with corporate players such a Tesla and Mastercard embracing the emerging mainstream appeal. Optimism backed by a fresh round of stimulus and a boosted vaccine rollout has market participants looking for these catalysts to manifest into more positive returns for stocks. Impeachment proceedings in the Senate took shape as both sides aired their cases with help from powerful videos taken from during the presidential campaigns. An acquittal of the former President was the most likely outcome as 17 Republicans must join their Democrat and independent colleges to convict President Trump. On Saturday, after a vote to consider possible witnesses in the trial, the Senate acquitted the former President with a 57-43 vote. The quick end to the trial allows Democrats to move forward on their legislative agenda. Tweets in the news and the banning of influential newsmakers boosted Twitter's fourth quarter earnings and propelled the stock higher by over 26% last week. The company also announced a $24 million dollar Bitcoin fund to develop the adoption of the cryptocurrency initially in Africa and India. Most of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported quarterly earnings and 82% have beat earnings estimates compared to 72% last year. On the top line, revenues beat estimates 66% of the time compared to only 38% a year ago. Looking ahead to a holiday shortened week, the FOMC meeting minutes are set to be released on Wednesday followed by housing starts and initial jobless claims later in the week.
Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 @ 8:11 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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