U.S. Equity Markets continued their recent uptrend, closing the day higher after a sixth consecutive gain. The Russell 2000 led the market higher, finishing Monday with a gain of 2.53%. Stimulus was a big driver. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the increased spending that would happen if President Biden’s economic stimulus plan’s enacted would help the economy return to full employment by 2022. A strong earnings season was another tailwind. So far, 60% of the S&P 500 has reported. And S&P 500 companies are on track to grow their earnings for the first quarter since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Eighty-one percent of S&P 500 companies have surprised to the upside. If this strong season holds, it will be the second-highest amount of positive surprises since FactSet began tracking the data. Not much else moved the market. European Markets rose. German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz called for increased spending on technology infrastructure and cleaner energy in the coming years in order to transform the economy. A University of Oxford study showed the COVID-19 vaccine it has jointly developed with drugmaker AstraZeneca demonstrated 75% efficacy against the U.K. variant. But South Africa halted use of the vaccine. Britain’s Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said there will likely be a Coronavirus vaccine booster this fall that turns into an annual shot. European Union coronavirus vaccinations rose to 16.7 million yesterday, with a daily average of 637,000 doses administered over the last week. Elsewhere, Oil continued its recent run, closing higher by 2.02% as growth optimism spurred a positive demand outlook for crude. Meanwhile. Bitcoin surged 18% to an all-time high on news that Tesla had bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency.
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