Economic Distortions Created by the Pandemic - Dec 23, 2020

One only needs to walk into a restaurant to see the distortions generated by the Covid pandemic. That assumes the restaurant is open.

Sales at restaurants are down 17% vs one year ago, according to U.S. Census data. But sales at grocery stores are up 11%.

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Rising Covid Cases Hamper the Economy - Dec 21, 2020

Daily Covid cases have jumped and many state officials have introduced new restrictions, which is beginning to have an impact on the economy.

In November, retail sales fell 1.1%. Ex-autos, sales were down 0.9%. As Figure 1 illustrates, sales came roaring back earlier in the year thanks to generous jobless benefits, $1,200 stimulus checks, job growth, and the re-opening of businesses.

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Looking Ahead to 2021 - December 16, 2020

Assuming we don’t see a steep pullback in stocks over the last two weeks of December, the major averages will finish higher for the year.

Let’s look ahead. What might influence shares next year?

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Marking the Recession’s End - Dec 14, 2020

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to conducting economic research. Why do we care? It is the official arbiter of economic recessions and expansions. It celebrated its 100th birthday this year. 

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