Stocks were down marginally for the week following a sharp rise in Covid cases in Japan and India. In the U.S., markets are digesting key public company earnings reports, with more than 80% of companies having beat earnings estimates thus far. Where we stand today, S&P 500 earnings are on pace to grow by about 30.2% year-over-year, the highest mark since the third quarter of 2010 (FactSet). On the economic front, weekly jobless claims printed at 574,000 versus expectations for 610,000 – the lowest level since March of last year. Across the pond, the European Central Bank (ECB) left deposit rate and asset-purchase plans unchanged, in line with consensus. Interest rates in the U.S. were modestly lower for the week on the heels of a strong auction for the 20-year Treasury bond. Tuesday of this week marked the one-year anniversary of the benchmark WTI crude oil contracts collapsing below zero. WTI oil is now trading around $62 a barrel, reflecting strong demand as the world recovers from the pandemic. Going forward, investors will be keeping a close eye on earnings and economic data to gauge the pace of recovery.

Source: GSAM, CNBC, JPM, FactSet, FactorInvestor

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