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Stocks Gain Nearly 2% As Virus Continues Receding

The S&P 500 closed last Friday at 3,768.25 and closed at 3,841.47 this afternoon. The week started out promising enough when Goldman Sachs shattered expectations. Other financial earnings appeared to show that the financial industry, based on the adjustment of its Loan Loss Provision (LLP) sees the worst of the economic downturn behind us. Boy, we sure hope they are correct. In other positive news, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s business condition index jumped to 26.5 in January from 9.1 in December. The January reading was expected to be significantly lower.

The unexpectedly positive reading marks the highest level since February before the effects of COVID-19 stunned us all. Manufacturing activity being so positive certainly lends credence to the thrust of our three research departments, that 2021 will primarily be a year of robust economic recovery. The ISM factory index also hit 60.7% the highest level since August 2018. Our Head of Research Tom Lee noted that these levels are in fact, ‘boomy.’ That being said, manufacturing was significantly stronger in the Philadelphia region than in New York where activity receded 3.5 this month.

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