After hitting new highs in the previous week, volatility returned to the markets last week. COVID-19 was the dominant story and the primary influencer on the major markets. On Monday Moderna announced the very positive results of their vaccine trials. Not only does their vaccine have a nearly 95% efficacy rate, but it is also much easier to transport and store than the vaccine developed by Phizer and BioNTech. The markets responded to the news with significant gains.
Concerns over increasing COVID-19 cases, renewed state restrictions and their short-term impact on the economy dominated Tuesday and the markets gave up some of Monday’s gains. October retail sales numbers also disappointed. Losses continued on Wednesday, again driven by COVID concerns.
Thursday saw a partial reprieve and markets increased fractionally. This was short lived, however, as Friday again turned negative.
For the week, both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed down roughly 0.75%. The NASDAQ eked out a fractional gain.
This is a shortened trading week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Markets are closed on Thursday and reopen to a shorter trading day on Friday.