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US Stock Market Weekly Review Feb. 1 – 5, 2021

US stock market weekly review

A week with strong gains for the US stock market and a rebound from the previous week’s steep losses, as S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, and Russell 2000 indexes made record highs. Small-cap stocks outperformed, and all major stock indexes turned positive on a year-to-date basis. The main catalyst was fiscal stimulus plans and vaccine optimism. In the US infection trends have started to improve and there has formed a peak in the daily infections from covid-19.

The oil prices rallied almost 10% and this may cause inflationary pressures. Initial jobless claims declined for the third consecutive week. Still, the non-farm payrolls figure was a weak number.

Last week I wrote “The answer to whether the stock market can continue to move higher at these record highs is hard to answer. Earnings can be a catalyst for a move higher if they beat estimates. But valuation is too stretched, especially for tech stocks.” With new record highs, further volatility in the stock market should be expected.

A short squeeze is nothing new to the stock market. Short selling also has a long history. The absence of major fundamental news stocks that rise too fast too high is strong evidence of stock price manipulation. And this is illegal. A lot of caution is suggested. GME stock crushed almost 81% this week.

Economic News

The ISM Manufacturing PMI was a slight miss with a figure of 58.7 compared to the consensus of 60. The Markit Services PMI figure of 58.3 beat the forecast of 57.5. The Markit PMI Composite figure of 58.7 also beat the forecast of 58. And the ISM Services PMI figure of 58.7 was also stronger than the consensus of 56.8.

The labor market continues to show mixed signs. The Continuing Jobless Claims figure of 4.592 M was better than the consensus of 4.7 M. The Initial Jobless Claims figure of 779 K was also lower than the consensus of 830 K.

The Nonfarm Payrolls figure of 49 K was a miss compared to the consensus of 50 K. The Unemployment Rate fell to 6.3%, better than the forecast of 6.7%.

Overall economic data this week was strong and supportive of faster economic growth.

The major US stock market indexes closed as follows on Friday February 5, 2021:

• Dow Jones Industrial Average: Close 31148.24, +3.89% for the week, +1.77% Year-to-date

• S&P 500 Index: Close 3886.83, +4.65% for the week, +3.48% Year-to-date

•  Nasdaq Composite Close 13856.30, +6.01% for the week, +7.51%, Year-to-date

• Russell 2000: Close 2233.33, +7.70% for the week, +13.09% Year-to-date

Economic events for the week February 8- February 13, 2021:

Important economic data for the next week will be the weekly Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims, the Consumer Price Index, and the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index.

This article appeared first on Talkmarkets.

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