News regarding the pandemic was positive last week. Covid-19 case counts continued to fall in the US and globally, and on Thursday the FDA and CDC jointly announced new recommendations that made nearly 100 million Americans immediately eligible for a vaccine booster shot. All Americans aged 65 or older that originally received a 2-course regimen of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are eligible, as are those aged 18-64 that either live in a long-term care facility, have underlying medical conditions that increase risk of severe disease, or live or work in settings that carry a high risk of virus transmission. In addition, all Americans aged 18 or older that received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago are eligible for a booster immediately.
Meanwhile, Q3 earnings season continued with a slew of strong results. With nearly a quarter of S&P 500 companies now having reported Q3 numbers, 84% of the results so far have beaten consensus earnings estimates, while 75% have beaten on top line revenues.
Against this positive backdrop for the economy, stocks rose for the 3rd week in a row, with the S&P 500 and the Dow closing at new all-time highs on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Rates moved higher, particularly on the front end of the curve as markets priced in a higher probability of a rate hike by the end of next year. Lastly, energy and other commodity prices rose, sending the Bloomberg Commodity Index to its highest level in more than six years. See the Chart of the Week for a time series.