Mixed stocks characterized last week as mega cap tech names drove returns in large cap indexes and small cap indexes ended the week in negative territory. Tesla, and it’s $1.1 trillion dollar market cap, returned over 10% after an analyst report noted the company’s potential to deliver 40% of the automakers 2022 output to China. The EV market has been highly talked about in recent weeks as existing automakers like Ford and GM move to produce more electric models and newcomers such as Rivian and Lucid introduce new models to consumers. On Friday, stocks wavered after news that Austria will reenter a nationwide lockdown and neighboring Germany is considering the same measure. Back in the US, Pfizer and Moderna rallied after the FDA authorized Covid boosters for all adults aged 18 and older after six months from receiving their primary series. The booster availability adds to the multiple ways health officials try to combat the ongoing pandemic. Youth vaccination uptake is about 10% through the first weeks of eligibility for the 28 million kids aged 5 to 11. In Washington, the House voted 220-213 to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal with its 10-year $1.64 trillion dollar price tag.
Increasing fears of further COVID lockdowns and remarks by two Federal Reserve officials last Friday resulted in a flatter Treasury curve from lower longer dated yields. Both Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida and Fed Governor Christopher Waller voiced concerns that continually high inflation may recommend the Federal Reserve consider accelerating the tapering of asset purchases. Oil fell meaningfully last week, and particularly on Friday, as crude oil prices shuddered from the dual effect of governments threatening to release crude oil reserves from strategic petroleum reserves as well as from Austria being the first western European country to re-impose widespread lockdowns.