Daily Archives: Feb 19, 2021 at 07:18 pm EST

The ETF Portfolio Strategist: 19 Feb 2021

In this issue:

  • Inverse together: interest rates rise and (most) stock markets fall
  • Portfolio strategy benchmarks take a hit after two weeks of gain

US equities on the defensive as Treasury yields continue to rise: Maybe it wasn’t solely about the ongoing upswing in rates, but it probably didn’t help. Whatever the reason(s), US shares fell 0.7% this week through Friday’s close (Feb. 19), based on Vanguard Total US Stock Market (VTI). The ETF posted its first weekly decline in three weeks. That still leaves the fund close to a record high, which was set only a week ago. But with interest rates rising, and showing an increasingly robust upside trend, the burning question is: How much tolerance can equities muster if the reflation trade for yields rolls on?

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Macro Briefing: 19 February 2021

* Millions left without safe drinking water in Texas after winter storm
* Texas’ storm cut 40% of US oil output
* Biden plans to tell G7 today to work together on China challenge
* White House ready for talks with Iran to discuss return to 2015 nuclear deal
* Fed governor Lael Brainard: climate change affecting economy
* Treasury Secretary Yellen reaffirms need for large stimulus package
* Eurozone economy contracted for fourth straight month in February
* Manufacturing revival threatened by global chip shortage
* Bitcoin market cap approaches $1 trillion
* Lumber prices briefly topped $1,000 per 1,000 board feet, a record high
* US jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week, reaching a one-month high
* US housing starts eased in January but new building permits surged: