The Dow (+4.0%), NASDAQ (+3.6%), and S&P 500 (+3.8%) exhibited a strong week of gains, erasing most of the losses experienced in the prior two weeks, and demonstrating the highest weekly gain since February. Meanwhile, taxable bonds lagged about 0.2% - 0.5% and tax-free municipal bonds were roughly flat to slightly lower, as Treasury yields came off their recent lows.
The markets reacted favorably last week to news that the Omicron variant of the COVID virus appears to have much less severe effects than initially feared. Further, the economy continues to demonstrate that it is on firm footing, as consumer sentiment remains strong and unemployment claims were reported as the lowest since 1969. Conversely, inflation fears continue to mount, as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) demonstrate that inflation reached 6.9% in November, the highest since 1982. Many economists believe that inflation is the biggest headwind to economic growth, which also explains why it has commanded the headlines in recent months. That said, the economy and economic growth continue to remain strong, even in spite of the inflationary data.
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