Stocks open firmly higher. US markets opened higher following the emergency-use approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- Fiscal stimulus discussions are ongoing, but there have been no major developments.
- European markets are broadly higher in midday trading.
- Asia markets were mixed with Hong Kong the laggard.
This week’s economic calendar. The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Wednesday highlights this week’s economic calendar. Economic data out this week includes:
- Import and export prices and industrial product for November
- Wednesday. FOMC meeting, November retail sales, October business inventories, November Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), and December homebuilder sentiment
- Building permits/housing starts for November and weekly jobless claims
- November Leading Indicators and Q3 current account
Technical update. The S&P 500 Index fell the final three days of last week, closing Friday at 3663. Despite headline losses for the large cap indexes, the Russell 2000 Index and the energy sector both finished with more than 1% gains, extending small caps outperformance versus large caps to more than 26% since the March lows.
COVID-19 news. The Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, and the first shipments are being distributed in the United States now (source: COVID Tracking Project).
- 7-day average week-over-week change in new daily COVID-19 cases is down to 9.3%.
- Week-over-week hospitalization growth is moderating.
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