It’s been another fairly calm session, with the US off to a decent start and Europe ending the day in negative territory.
Stock markets appear to have entered a consolidation phase over the last week or so. With the new Biden administration taking over from tomorrow and wanting to hit the ground running, it may simply be a case of waiting and seeing, especially against the backdrop of a deteriorating situation on the Covid front.
There’s a lot of attention in the US on Janet Yellen’s Senate confirmation hearing today, which will naturally be highly political, but informative nonetheless. There’s been plenty of reporting on Yellen’s support for Biden’s ambitious stimulus drive, one that will be a big test of the incoming administration. Yellen is the former Chair of the Federal Reserve, so we can expect improved coordination between the Fed and the Treasury Department.
Other comments from the incoming Treasury Secretary around a range of issues from China to the US dollar and taxes are as you’d expect and in line with what has been leaked to the media. In her testimony, Yellen is expected to state the value of the US dollar should be determined by market forces.
Earnings season is also now underway which may spark markets back into life. Results on Friday generated a mixed response and we’re seeing a similar reaction today to numbers from Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, despite the former reporting a record fourth quarter driven by trading and investment banking.
The economic data today has been predominantly low tier, but the German ZEW reading was a bright spark in otherwise difficult times. Businesses have adapted well to the lockdowns but the environment will be extremely challenging for some time yet.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar. www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/ 
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