U.S. Equity Markets declined to start the week, led by the NASDAQ 100 which closed lower by 2.63% as the S&P fell for the fifth straight session. Markets declined in the morning, before recovering throughout the day. Rising bond yields were a key reason for the early morning decline. But other than that, there were few drivers for the sell-off. Vaccine news was positive. The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated it was roughly 90% effective in preventing laboratory-confirmed infections, according to a study by Israel’s Health Ministry. And an early report out of the U.K. showed a steep drop in infections once the vaccine rollout began. Stimulus was also a positive, as the House of Representatives was said to be prepared to pass the $1.9 trillion support package by the end of the week. Markets lost steam heading into the close on little news. European Markets also closed lower. German Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country must lower the rate of coronavirus infections further before the government can consider easing social-distancing restrictions. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out a plan for reopening the country, with a return to “normal” coming in June. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the U.S. will not be able to rejoin the 2015 nuclear accord unless it first lifted sanctions. European Union coronavirus vaccinations rose to 26.5 million through yesterday, with a daily average of 748,000 doses administered over the last week. Elsewhere, Oil gained 4% as Goldman Sachs said the commodity could reach $72 per barrel by the summer, while Gold rose 1.76% on Dollar weakness.
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