Stocks around the globe were mixed in early trading this week as investors remained cautious amidst a whirlwind of political and virus uncertainty in the U.S. and abroad. Cyclical sectors like financials and energy traded higher, whilst technology and communications stocks lagged. Following Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement that he would not look to invoke the 25th amendment to remove President Trump from office, the House of Representatives decided to move forward with impeachment proceedings against the President. A conviction from the Senate would strip Trump of the privilege to hold any future office, as well as eliminate all presidential pensions, travel allowances and Secret Service protections. Despite the chaos in Washington, President-elect Biden is expected to lay out some proposals for further stimulus on Thursday.
Corporate earnings kicked off this week and the first major reports come from some of the nation’s largest financial institutions (JP Morgan, Citi, and Wells Fargo) before the bell on Friday. From an economic standpoint, the monthly Consumer Price Index reading for December showed inflation rising by about 0.4% for the month, in-line with consensus expectations. Interest rates took a breather following the release with the 10-year Treasury note settling around 1.09% on Wednesday – still nearly 20 basis points higher than where we started the year. Wall Street will be keeping an eye on retail sales and industrial production data slated for release on Friday, where expectations are for a slight increase on both counts. In Central Bank news, monetary policy around the globe remains supportive of the markets. In Europe, a council member said the ECB will keep an easy stance for as long as needed. Meanwhile, investors took comfort from remarks by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President Bullard, who said getting through the pandemic remains the policy priority.
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Sources: GSAM, CNBC, JPM, Bloomberg, FactorInvestor