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Biden Proposes $1.9T in Aid; Powell Staying Dovish

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Major market indexes petered out into Thursday’s close, after the Dow and Nasdaq reached new intra-day highs. The Nasdaq closed down 0.12%, while the Dow went 0.22% lower and the S&P 500 fell 0.38% on the day. Nothing pressing, necessarily -- absorbing news from the incoming Biden administration regarding its new stimulus package as well as fresh remarks from Fed Chair Jay Powell may have informed the market, but did little to sway it.

The President-elect’s new program to provide relief for families and businesses hit hard by the ongoing pandemic looks to come with a price tag of $1.9 trillion. This would include $2000 checks to households, increased investment in Covid-19 vaccine funds and expanded child benefits for families struggling with pandemic conditions. But with 10 million unemployed Americans, along with worse numbers in last week’s monthly payroll’s and last week’s jobless claims, despite the expense this may be seen as a call to the cavalry.

For those who think such a generous relief package will spur inflation in the overall economy, Fed Chair Jay Powell doesn’t seem too concerned about it. From his virtual talk at Princeton University, Powell said the timeline for bringing interest rates up from near-zero is “no time soon.” Powell also said the Fed remains committed to buying $120 million in T-bills every month until “substantial further progress” is made on metrics like the 10-year yield, such as reaching and remaining 2% for a consistent period of time.

The Fed Chair overall promoted level-headedness, and was interested in assuaging concerns. Should inflation pop up suddenly amid the current ongoing dovish playing field, Powell assured the Fed would be ready to deal with it. “We have the tools,” he said. “No one should doubt that.”

Some of the Big Banks are on deck for reporting earnings tomorrow morning, including Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) along with Citigroup (C - Free Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) , both Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Before the bell today, Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) unofficially kicked off Q4 earnings season with mixed results in its fiscal Q1 report: -$2.53 per share missed expectations by a dime, while revenues of $3.97 billion beat the Zacks consensus by 5.8%. For more on DAL’s earnings, click here.

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