Making sense of the markets this week: November 23

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Each week, Cut the Crap Investing founder Dale Roberts shares financial headlines and offers context for Canadian investors.

It’s déjà vu vaccine all over again as we make sense of the markets

This week began, like last week, with some very positive (and welcome) news on the vaccine front. As you may remember, on Mon., Nov. 9, U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that their COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective.

The markets and our collective hope that we’ll get to the other side of the pandemic sooner than later received another shot in the arm. This week, the good news was courtesy of pharmaceutical company Moderna—and they upped the ante, suggesting their vaccine is shown to be 94.5% effective. Not to be outdone, Pfizer came back with updated data to show their vaccine is actually 95% effective

I like that trend. And so do the stock markets, as this next item suggests: 

U.S. stocks get an initial boost, set a new record

U.S. and global stocks hit a record on Mon, Nov. 16, on the positive vaccine results released by Moderna. 

However, that enthusiasm soon faded, with U.S. and global stocks receding midweek and into Thurs., Nov. 19. 

Meanwhile, Canadian stocks (the TSX Composite) are about 3.7% below their all-time highs. 

We now have an epic battle of sentiments—between the enthusiasm for positive vaccine news, and record numbers of global daily new cases and deaths from COVID-19. The new waves of the pandemic are most prominent in North America, Europe and parts of South America. We can add in India and Russia as well. 

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