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Equities On Track to Reach Record Highs After Pfizer Vaccine Results

Pfizer vaccine said to prevent 90% of infections in study, sending rates sharply higher and equities to all-time highs
Pfizer’s announcement that their vaccine prevented 90% of infections in a large-scale study was cheered by global markets this morning, sending rates and equities surging higher worldwide. The vaccine trial results are said to be better than even the most optimistic of projections, and were characterized by Pfizer’s head of vaccine development as “the best the news could possibly be.” Rates jumped sharply higher across the curve, the 10-year Treasury yield climbing 15 basis points to 0.97%- its highest level since March. The S&P 500 is up 3.41% on the day..
COVID-19 Update
Now that presidential election results have been announced, markets focus will return to the worsening pandemic.  Total infections have hit 10 million in the US after 29 states set a weekly case record last week.  North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are recording the highest numbers in the nation while Minnesota has seen new daily cases double since Halloween.  President-Elect Biden will also announce a new coronavirus task force today as officials continue to strategize new ways to stop the spread.  He is expected to appoint a “national supply chain commander” and assemble a “pandemic testing board.”  In Europe, France and Italy are still reporting record cases after the two countries entered a second lockdown last week.  Global cases have risen to 50.2 million with fatalities nearing 1.3 million.
Week ahead
This week is light on new data, but the highlight will be PPI and CPI numbers.  CPI figures have only shown modest inflation over the past few months, and economists expect October’s figures to stay consistent with the trend.  They are forecasting a 0.2% rise, unchanged from September’s level.  Initial jobless claims for the week ending October 31st are expected to fall to 741,000 to hit a pandemic low.  PPI prices are forecasted to rise only 0.2% in October, less than September’s 0.4% rise, a sign consumer sentiment could be wavering.

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