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Stocks were wishy-washy this week as mixed news persisted. The pattern of strong surges followed by losses kicked off the week as traders examined the latest COVID-19 data. The number of positive cases continued to rise and economic data continued to be mixed. Measures of industrial activity, employment, and consumer spending have continued to improve over the last few weeks. However, many of these data points stalled over the last few trading days. This gave traders plenty of reason to question the pace of economic recovery.
At the same time, earnings remain mixed. As this earnings season has persisted, stocks have continued to beat estimates. However, for many, these estimates represented a slowing of EPS growth and, with guidance still unsure, many traders just don’t know how to react to the reports.
Finally, this week continued to see more turmoil on the political front. The Trump Administration and Democrat leaders continued to clash on the second rescue package for the pandemic, while the ramp-up to the next presidential election remains heated. Over the week, several positives and negatives on this front gave traders pause.
In the end, stocks managed to have another volatile week, which was fitting of this year’s pattern.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when earnings drove stocks higher.