CHART OF THE WEEK
So much for concerns about inflation, omicron or the Fed. Markets keep climbing the wall of worry as the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Thursday.
Stocks rebounded from the previous week’s losses on signs that omicron might not be disruptive as feared. Trading volumes were low ahead of the upcoming Christmas holiday, with markets closed on Friday. Consumer discretionary and energy stocks outperformed. Markets started the week on a negative note due to omicron concerns and after Senator Manchin said he will reject the Biden administration’s USD 2 trillion “Build Back Better” plan. But some encouraging news on omicron treatment and signs indicating that hopes remained for the US fiscal stimulus plan supported risk assets afterwards. Economic data generally surprised on the upside. US durable goods orders rose 2.5% in November, well above consensus expectations. In Europe, equity markets ended the shortened week firmly higher although Eurozone consumer confidence deteriorated for a 3rd straight month in December. Chinese markets were little changed despite a key rate cut by the central bank for the first time in 20 months. In Fixed income, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose back above 1.50% during the week. The dollar weakened while cryptocurrencies soared on Thursday.