The first week of 2021 saw markets continue to climb. Surprisingly, they grew in spite of several major news stories, including the horrific events of Wednesday. Friday brought a surprise jobs report: the month of December posted a loss of 140,000 jobs; a gain of 50,000 was expected. Unemployment remained steady at 6.7%.
COVID-19 numbers remain grim: as of Friday, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. topped 22.1 million, with virus-related deaths reaching beyond 374,000. Worldwide, cases exceed 88.6 million with nearly 2 million deaths.
The market seems buoyed by the prospects of additional COVID relief. Investors appeared to be looking at the negative news as short-term economic weakness and are instead focusing on a brighter future, where fiscal spending, monetary stimulus, and successful mass distribution of a vaccine returns our economy to its pre-pandemic path.