U.S. Equity Markets traded in a narrow range before closing below Monday’s record highs, led by the Dow which finished lower by just 0.29%. The International Monetary Fund boosted its global growth outlook for 2021 on strength from accelerating COVID-19 vaccinations. On infrastructure, Senate Parliamentary Elizabeth MacDonough confirmed the Chamber could use the reconciliation process again this calendar year to pass President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. Economic data were also positive. JOLTS Job Openings for February came in well above estimates, signalling that businesses are preparing to increase hiring. That is a good sign for the economic recovery. There was also talk about stocks becoming more comfortable with the higher Interest Rate environment after the initial shock from a spike in yields has worn off. Now, Wall Street strategists are focusing on the 2% level for the 10-year Treasury rate as a key level that may trigger a sell-off in stocks. There was also optimism about the pace of vaccinations, with Biden pushing up the timeline for all adults to be eligible for shots. European Markets closed higher as it plays cacthup to Monday’s move to record highs in the U.S. Sentix’s Euro-Zone Investor Confidence data for April hit their highest level since August 2018, as optimism about economic expectations hit an all-time high. The U.K. will make free coronavirus test kits available through local facilities starting February 9 and reopen restaurants next week in an attempt to restart the economy. But it was not all positive news… Christian Democratic Union Chairman Armin Laschet suggested Germany introduce strict coronavirus social-distancing restrictions until vaccinations can stem rising infections. Elsewhere, Oil closed 1.19% higher after Russia slashed its production forecasts for 2021, while Gold rose 0.80% on Dollar weakness.
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