U.S. Equity Markets traded sideways for most of Friday’s session before a late surge saw both the S&P and NASDAQ 100 close at new all-time highs as both Indexes gained 0.5%. Vaccine optimism boosted markets throughout Friday. President Joe Biden said the government made an agreement to purchase another 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses, increasing the domestic supply by roughly 50%. And Moderna got approval to increase the amount of the vaccine in each vial, potentially adding to the available supply. In terms of economic data, Consumer Sentiment fell to a six-month low, as respondents became more pessimistic on the near-term economic outlook. Earnings season unofficially wrapped up strongly, after Disney beat on both profit and sales. For the entire season, 80% of S&P 500 have beaten estimates. That is the third-highest percentage since FactSet began tracking the data in 2008. European Markets also closed higher on Friday. Former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi won backing from Italy’s largest parliamentary party, putting him one step closer to forming a new government. European Parliament approved the European Union’s recovery fund, which consists of $814 billion in grants and loans to assist economies through the pandemic. The British economy had its worst quarter in 300 years, but beat estimates as the decline was not as steep as feared. European Union coronavirus vaccinations rose to 19.4 million, with a daily average of 622,000 doses administered over the last week. Elsewhere, Oil Closed higher by 2.24% while Gold fell 0.34% on Dollar strength.
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