Market Commentary — March 29, 2021
Markets were mixed again last week, as investors continue to weigh reopening optimism against higher inflation and interest rate concerns. Small caps lagged for the second consecutive week, suggesting yet another reversal in market leadership.
The closure of the Suez Canal because of a disabled cargo ship (send us your favorite meme) raised worries about the global supply chain, but helped boost the prices of oil and energy stocks.
There are conflicting signals regarding pandemic progress. Last Monday, investors were encouraged by AstraZeneca’s data results from U.S. vaccine trials, only to be disappointed that the data was outdated and then pleased again when the revised results released on Wednesday showed a dip in efficacy to 76% from 79%, which is still pretty good if you can shrug off blood clot fears.
Stocks were pressured by rising infection rates in many states and renewed lockdowns in Europe. But investors were heartened on Thursday by President Biden’s announcement that the new goal is to vaccinate 200 million Americans during the first 100 days of his administration instead of 100 million. Several states, including California, also announced it would be opening vaccination to all residents above age 16.
And finally, for some non-pandemic-related news, Fidelity threw its hat into the ring and announced plans to launch a Bitcoin ETF. FD Fund Management, a subsidiary of Fidelity, says it intends to provide financial backing for an ETF called the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust.
Speaking of which, let’s have some fun! The first person to email us the meaning behind the “Wise Origin” name will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.
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