Retail sales rebound in January. US retail sales rose 5.3% month over month in January according to the US Census Bureau, ahead of Bloomberg consensus forecasts of 1.1%. The surge in retail sales was the highest in seven months, a strong response following December’s 1% decline as fresh stimulus checks helped spur consumer demand following the headwinds caused by rising COVID-19 cases at the end of 2020. Further, strong January retail sales should remove much of the risk for the US economy to stall in the first quarter of 2021.
US stocks opened lower as yields slip from highest level since February 2020
Crude up again. West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI) is above $60/barrel and up another 1% this morning, with multiple drivers.
Is this really a calm stock market? There is plenty of talk how volatile things are, but we’d say things are actually quite calm.
Technical update. Large cap indexes were little changed Tuesday; however, energy returned 2.3% and financials gained 1.8%. The S&P 500 Index Financials sector has gained 10.7% so far in February, decisively breaking out above the 2007, 2018 and 2020 highs for the sector.
The United States reported 56,000 new COVID-19 cases, down 39% week over week, although severe weather in the Midwest may be affecting reports (source: COVID Tracking Project).
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