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Mid-Week Market Minute 05.20.20

News |

U.S. stocks soared Monday on the heels of encouraging results published by Moderna Inc. regarding the phase one trial of their vaccine development for the coronavirus. The initial trial included only a small sample of eight people, and much more rigorous testing will follow as the vaccine moves into the phase two, or midstage trial. On the earnings front, strong results from key retailers like Walmart, Target, and Lowes helped bolster markets as the S&P 500 traded about 3.5% higher mid-week. On Tuesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before the Senate Banking Committee. During the testimony, Powell reiterated the Federal Reserve remains committed to utilizing their full range of tools to support the economy. Mnuchin also emphasized the Treasury is “fully prepared to take losses in certain scenarios” regarding money left to be distributed from the CARES Act. These comments follow the general theme of reassuring investors that the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department is prepared to do whatever it takes from a monetary and fiscal policy standpoint during this pandemic. In conjunction with the “risk-on” trade across the board this week, interest rates ticked higher with the yields on the 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes trading around 0.17% and 0.70% respectively mid-week.

Source: Bloomberg, FactSet, WSJ Market Data, GSAM