Lowest number of new coronavirus reported. Futures are higher this morning, as on Wednesday China reported the lowest number of coronavirus cases since late January. Most scientists still expect the outbreak to peak sometime this month. Although markets are looking past the impact and tragic loss of more than 1,000 lives due to this pandemic, the near-term impact on the global economy remains uncertain. Key industrial metals like copper, iron ore, nickel, and aluminum have sold off due to the disruption to China’s economy and global supply chains.
Mr. Powell goes to Washington. Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell appeared for his semi-annual testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee yesterday and had positive things to say. The US economy is growing at a moderate pace and household spending remains solid, but business investment and exports are weak due to weak overseas growth. Overall, he held the Fed’s dovish tilt. He will speak again today at 10 a.m. ET.
February is here, and bulls like it. Stocks were slightly lower in January, but they’ve soared so far in February. In fact, the S&P 500 Index is up close to 4% so far this month, which would be the best February for stocks since 2015. Although historically February has been weak for stocks, during the past 10 years, February has actually been the best month of the year. We will take a closer look at February’s track record later today on the LPL Research blog.
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