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“The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.“ – Bob Iger

Commodities are generally trading higher this morning, while treasury yields are lower.  Equity futures are little changed but indicated higher as investors digest another busy batch of earnings reports since the close last night.  Following the announcement of the taper yesterday afternoon, equities have taken the news, which was entirely expected, very well.

Economic data just released showed a larger than expected drop in initial and continuing jobless claims.  Non-Farm Productivity was weaker than expected while Unit Labor Costs rose more than expected.

Read today’s Morning Lineup for a recap of all the major market news and events from around the world, including the latest US and international COVID trends.

Just like the US, stocks in Europe have consistently been hitting 52-week highs after breaking out above their Summer highs last week.  Like the S&P 500, the STOXX 600 has been higher for five days in a row and is on pace for its sixth straight day of gains today.  While the STOXX 600 has been performing in line with the S&P 500 on a nominal basis, after adjusting for the changes in the dollar, US stocks have been steadily outperforming in recent weeks.  The chart below shows the relative strength of the S&P 500 vs the STOXX 600 (in dollar terms) over the last year.  While stocks in Europe were outperforming the S&P 500 for the first half of 2021 (falling line in the chart below), ever since June, it has been US stocks that have been leading.

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