Friday, January 8, 2021
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Everything happens all the time. It won’t be this way forever.
The first week of 2021 has been a whole year.
Democrats won two runoff elections in Georgia and now control the Senate for the first time in a decade.
A mob incited by the sitting president of the United States stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Under the cover of night, the Senate confirmed the results of the Electoral College at 4 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) revoked the president’s ability to post on their platforms. Other commerce and streaming platforms did the same. The tech industry has decided it can no longer not censor the president of the United States.
At the same time, the stock market continued a furious rally that has let up little since the March 23, 2020 bottom. All three of the major U.S. stock market indexes ended 2020 at record highs. On Thursday, they did the same.
The star of the stock market show is Tesla (TSLA), which at one point on Thursday eclipsed the market cap of Facebook, making it the fifth most valuable company in the S&P 500. This rally has made Elon Musk the richest person on planet Earth.
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) also continued to its relentless move up and to the right. This week has seen bitcoin trade above $34,000, $35,000, $36,000, $37,000, $38,000, $39,000, and $40,000 for the first time. The price of bitcoin has doubled in a month.
And the week isn’t even over: at 8:30 a.m. ET, the December jobs report will be released.
Readers of the Morning Brief will be familiar with our proclivity to assign a single cause to why stocks have gone up, or why the economy has performed well, or why Congress must pass fiscal stimulus, and so on.
And sure, some attempt could be made this morning to do the same.
The market is clearly enthusiastic about the prospects of additional fiscal stimulus from the incoming Biden administration, as we wrote earlier this week.
Why investors are so comfortable looking past the troubling events in Washington, D.C. is also perhaps easily explicable — Trump will no longer be the president in less than two weeks and there’s no historical data to suggest insurrections are negative for profit margins.
On their own, however, neither of these really capture the sheer drama of the week we’ve not yet finished.
Over time, of course, the days and weeks and months start to run together.
But this week’s contradictions, its emotional highs and lows, political wins and losses, financial manias and new paradigms, all coming together as we grind through the plodding rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine; this is a week, these are events, that have a better chance than most of sticking around.
And so we encourage readers simply try to remember these days. Remember weeks like the opening week of 2021 — the jubilation in markets, the anger in the streets, the despair in the halls of Congress, the exasperation felt by so many across this country.
And maybe we’ll learn something along the way.
What to watch today
8:30 a.m. ET: Change in non-farm payrolls, December (50,000 expected, 245,000 in November)
8:30 a.m. ET: Unemployment rate, December (6.8% expected, 6.7% in November)
8:30 a.m. ET: Average hourly earnings, month-over-month, December (0.2% expected, 0.3% in November
8:30 a.m. ET: Average hourly earnings, year-over-year (4.5% expected, 4.4% in November)
8:30 a.m. ET: Wholesale inventories, month-over-month, November final (-0.1% expected, -0.1% in prior print)
3:00 p.m. ET: Consumer credit, November ($8.5 billion expected, $7.228 billion in October)
Stocks head higher on Democrat stimulus and vaccine hopes [Yahoo Finance UK]
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine ‘effective’ against new COVID-19 strains [Yahoo Finance UK]
YAHOO FINANCE HIGHLIGHTS