The fears surrounding the coronavirus that dominated investor's concerns at the end of January and in early February started to ease up a few days ago. Reports started coming out that government actions in China had reduced new cases, meaning the virus could be peaking. AP News With that risk potentially diminishing and positive comments from the Fed, the markets reacted very positively, and stock indexes hit new record highs. But by Thursday, China had reported a big uptick in cases and the markets reacted negatively. So, for now, the virus is the big market mover and will be the focus. Researchers are working on a vaccination for the virus, but it is in the early stages. WSJ Until the virus has peaked and is in the rear view mirror or until a vaccination is available, it will continue to affect the markets and earnings outlook.
- Fed Speak 101: The Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, testified before the Senate Banking Committee this week for the Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Support. He commented on a wide range of topics and questions including climate change, inequality, and the coronavirus (which he said they are carefully watching). Probably his most important comment was that the U.S. economy is in a very good place and that "There's no reason why the expansion can't continue. There's nothing about this expansion that is unstable or unsustainable." Yahoo Finance