Daily Market Color July 21, 2020Equities Rise to Pre-Pandemic Levels US stocks rise to pre-pandemic levels. Equities finally turned positive for the year after yesterday’s rally pushed them above pre-pandemic levels. The S&P 500 and DJIA closed up 0.8% and 0.1% respectively while the Nasdaq rose 2.5% to hit an all-time high, jumping the most since April. Treasury yields and swap rates traded in a narrow range throughout the day, eventually closing moderately lower across the curve. This morning, equities continue to climb higher while swap rates and Treasury yields are slightly lower- the 10-year yield trading down to 0.604%. US virus cases worsen as lawmakers begin talks of another stimulus package. With the majority of unemployment benefits set to expire in the coming weeks, Congress is deciding whether to extend existing programs or introduce another stimulus package. There are also talks of improving existing unemployment benefits, back-to-work bonuses, more business loans, and increased aid to state governments. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin along with past Fed Chairs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke are vocal supporters of extending the $600-a-week unemployment checks. Currently, US COVID-19 cases are nearing 4 million with fatalities topping 143,000. EU lawmakers strike $1.8 trillion economic rescue deal. EU lawmakers have agreed upon a rescue deal that includes a €750 billion recovery fund to help rebuild the eurozone economy. €390 billion will be put towards grants for harder hit regions with the rest of the fund kept for low-interest loans. In addition to the fund, the 27 leaders agreed to expand the EU budget to €1.1 trillion. In a joint statement, the leaders added, “It is an ambitious and comprehensive package combining the classical [budget] with an extraordinary recovery effort destined to tackle the effects of an unprecedented crisis in the best interest of the EU.” European equities and government bond yields both climbed on the news.