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“Confidence is not ‘I will profit on this trade.’ Confidence is ‘I will be fine if I don’t profit from this trade.’” – Yvan Byeajee
It’s a busy day for economic data, and it’s starting off on the right foot with both initial and continuing jobless claims coming in better than expected, albeit at still terrible levels. As bad as the numbers are, though, it’s encouraging that claims are moving in the right direction. With claims behind us, the next report of focus is the ISM Services report at 10 AM Eastern. Expectations for this report are also low as activity levels have started to decline in recent weeks as case counts rise.
Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for updates on the latest market news and events, Markit PMI data for the services sector, an update on the latest national and international COVID trends, and much more.
The latest COVID wave has clearly been the most severe in terms of the number of confirmed cases, geographic reach, hospitalizations, and soon to be deaths. The chart below compares the 7-day average number of US confirmed COVID cases (red line) versus the relative strength of our basket of “Stocks for the COVID Economy” that we first published in early March versus the S&P 500 (blue line).
In the early stages of this wave, right before and up to the announcement of the vaccine from Pfizer (PFE) on 11/9, COVID stocks underperformed the S&P 500 rather sharply, but since 11/9, COVID stocks have once again started to outperform the S&P 500. They still remain well off their highs on a relative basis, but the initial reaction to vaccine news appears to have been overdone.