U.S. Equity Markets closed slightly higher after a volatile and mixed trading session where the NASDAQ closed lower by 0.40% while the Dow finished with a small gain of 0.12%. Stimulus remained in the news as Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer set the wheels in motion to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Coronavirus aid bill via the reconciliation process. And the Biden administration is reportedly open to limiting income eligibility for the next round of stimulus cheques. This would be a possible way to get bipartisan support for the Bill. Earnings were also a driver yesterday after Alphabet (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) reported on Tuesday night. These are two of the biggest companies in the world by market cap, so big moves in their price action can impact markets. They both reported strong quarters. Economic data were also positive. ADP Employment data showed that private employers added twice as many jobs as expected in January. This indicates that the job market is back heading in the right direction. European Markets closed higher for the third straight session. Former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi was summoned by Italian President Sergio Mattarella to try and form a new government. The European Union anticipates 300 million Coronavirus vaccine doses to be delivered in the second quarter as new supply from recently approved inoculations comes online. Markit Euro-Zone’s final composite purchasing mangers’ index (“PMI”) data for January rose versus the preliminary reading but fell versus December, as social-distancing restrictions continue to weigh on the services sector. Elsewhere, Oil again closed higher, by 1.86% after EIA data showed a continued drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, implying strong demand, while Bitcoin rose 3.23% after Guggenheim’s chief investment officer put a $600,000 price target on the cryptocurrency.
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