The S&P500 rose 2.0% last week to more new all-time highs. The Federal Reserve met, and shorter-term traders exhaled. Consumer discretionary and technology stocks led the rally.
Exactly in line with their previous discussions, the Fed announced that it will begin to taper asset purchases starting later this month. The $120 billion pace will be scaled back by $15 billion, again in December, and likely each month thereafter until the QE program ends by June 2022.
With about 90% of the S&P 500 now reported, 82% have topped earnings expectations (per Bloomberg), while 67% have beaten the mark on revenues.
New COVID Treatment
Late in the week, Pfizer (PFE) announced encouraging data on the efficiency of its experimental oral COVID drug, which could be a game-changer in the fight against the virus.
Exiting the Deadzone
We exited the “deadzone” about 2 weeks ago and stock buybacks are in season. According to Goldman Sachs, they expect $887B worth of executions for 2021. With only 2 months left in the year, GS estimates that $160B of repurchases are left in the last two months of the year. This would average $3.80B per day, every day. Given the lack of liquidity round the many remaining holidays, this pace will likely be front end loaded in November and should pace above $4 billion per day.
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