U.S. Equity Markets rose in the early morning but fell throughout the day, ending the week mixed, as the S&P closed lower for the fourth consecutive trading session, while the Small Cap Russell 2000 closed with a gain of 2.06%. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a large stimulus package is necessary to get the economy back on track. She added that progress was likely to be made within the next two weeks. In addition, Economic data were strong. U.S. services PMI hit the highest level in six years, while manufacturing PMI rose and matched estimates. Vaccine news was positive. Pfizer and BioNTech said that data showed their COVID-19 vaccine is 85% effective after only one dose. This could add to the increased vaccine supply, and accelerate the pace of vaccinations and the return to normal. Markets gave up their gains throughout the day ahead of this week’s important inflation data in the form of Personal Consumption Expenditures. Meanwhile, European Markets closed higher. The European Central Bank’s Meeting Minutes confirmed policymakers are committed to ongoing economic support. Despite its belief of the potential for rising inflation in the short term, it pledged to continue with easy-money policies for the foreseeable future. Along that front, Britain’s government is preparing to offer more economic support. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will present a new budget next month. In it, he is set to extend the country’s worker support scheme from its previous March deadline into the summer. And the icing on the cake was Markit Euro-Zone’s preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data for February. It was stronger than expected, rising versus January. The implication being the regional economy should follow suit. This came as the European Union’s coronavirus outlook continues to improve. Vaccinations rose to 24.2 million on Thursday, with a daily average of 701,200 doses administered over the last week. Elsewhere, Oil closed 2.56% on profit-taking after a recent surge to 13-month highs, while Bitcoin exploded to the upside over the Weekend, hitting a new all-time high above $57,000.
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