U.S Equity markets rose ahead of the FOMC Statement helped by positive economic data. Retail sales rose, but missed estimates. While the data fell short of expectations, it continued a trend of increased spending. Homebuilder Sentiment hit a fresh all-time high, as optimism grew for both the current sales pace and future sales. CDC Director Dr. Robert Red field said he expects the U.S. to begin COVID-19 vaccinations between November and December of this year. He added that it will take “six to nine months” after that to get the general population vaccinated. In the afternoon, the Federal Reserve held rates steady, as expected. The statement noted that economic activity and employment have both picked up in recent months. But it said the central bank is committed to doing whatever it takes to meet its dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices. It will continue to use the full range of tools at its disposal. As for Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference, he said economic recovery has progressed more rapidly than originally anticipated. However, traders wanted more and the U,S. Indices sold off into the close led by the NASDAQ which closed 1.67% lower. This sell-off has continued overnight, showing how illiquid markets are at this time. As I go to press the S&P Futures are down 60 Handles at 3325. Elsewhere, European Indices closed flat after the German government gave $890 billion in grants to three companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, with Pfizer and BioNTech’s candidate receiving about half of the funds. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said his office would find “creative” ways to continue supporting the labour market. In other news Oil closed 4.9% higher after a larger than expected decrease in U.S. crude inventories.
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