U.S. Equity Markets moved higher on another quiet day, as both the S&P and NASDAQ 100 made further new highs for the year, while the Russell 2000 again led yesterday’s gains, closing higher by 0.37%. It was a relatively quiet day for markets. Markets opened higher after recording the 50th record high for the S&P 500 on Tuesday. There was some focus on short covering, as “meme” stocks and the most-shorted stocks continued to rally off their lows from last week. Regarding COVID-19, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. could bring COVID-19 infections under control by next spring with full vaccine approval. Investors are still looking ahead to the start of the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium tomorrow. The big thing investors will be looking for is any clues on asset purchases tapering, which many see being announced in September. European Markets closed mixed. European Central Bank Governing Council member Isabel Schnabel stressed the importance of flexibility on monetary stimulus, as each country’s economy is affected differently. Germany’s Ifo Business Climate Index fell in August on continued supply chain issues and lower sentiment because of COVID-19 variants. Israel’s health ministry said early data indicates a COVID-19 booster shot to fully vaccinated individuals is causing the Delta variant’s spread to subside. In Asia, The People’s Bank of China said it added $1.5 billion to the financial system via reverse repurchase operations to boost banking liquidity. Japan’s government is expected to extend the current coronavirus state of emergency to seven additional prefectures until September 12, bringing the total to almost half the country. The Bank of Korea’s September Manufacturing Business Confidence Index figures rose versus August, as companies were increasingly optimistic about current sales and profitability. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ second-quarter construction output change was weaker than expected, as the rate of growth in new private residential construction contracted. Elsewhere, Oil gained a further 1.18% after a fire on a Mexican drilling platform lowered the country’s production, while Gold fell 0.88% after meeting strong resistance at the 200-Day Moving Average.
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