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The pandemic and its structural changes to the economy have been a huge source of volatility for the markets since March. One of the overarching themes during the pandemic has been the availability of stimulus measures for the economy. The battle continued this week as President Trump and the Democrats grappled over these measures. Trump was a major source of the volatility as he flip-flopped on negotiations with House Democrats.
Political battles raged elsewhere, as the Vice Presidential debate occurred on Tuesday. Meanwhile, investors continued to analyze what was actually going on with President Trump’s health. On the surface, the president appeared to be overcoming his COVID-19 infection, but traders remained on edge given how close it was to the presidential election. Polls also began to show that Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Biden’s lead was growing.
Elsewhere, data remained mixed on the week. The total number of metrics were light, with those that were released showing a mixed picture for unemployment, manufacturing and consumer health.
However, individual corporate actions managed to boost sentiment. The week was filled with positive M&A news, strong corporate announcements and overall optimism across many sectors. To that end, stocks managed to finish the week higher after several false starts.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when stocks were also a mixed bag.