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The Market Wrap for January 22: Earnings Season and Biden Drive Gains

Stocks generally rose this week after last week’s bout of high volatility. Thanks to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, traders were given a three-day weekend. Overall, light volume persisted during the rest of the trading period.

Investors looked toward the official inauguration of President Joe Biden who had already promised more stimulus to combat the slowing economy and fight the COVID-19 pandemic. That optimism drove gains into his inauguration.

Elsewhere, the official start of earnings season for the fourth quarter of 2020 and full-year results kicked off with the major banks’ stocks this week. Profits for those firms reporting have been strong, suggesting that the worst of the pandemic was over. However, guidance figures and many of those profits came with caveats. Traders were quick to limit gains on those firms reporting and added plenty of caution to the current environment.

Economic data and corporate actions other than earnings were non-existent this week. Data was slowed due to the incoming Biden Administration and will resume next week. Many corporations have paused their M&A activity to see what the future may hold under the new President and his team.

All in all, the slow week produced decent gains for investors, albeit with some swings.

Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when the new stocks kept making new records.

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