Why Are The Small-Caps So Strong?

Tale of the Tape

Good evening, everyone. Today was our final full session before the holiday break. The markets have a half-day tomorrow and will be closed on Friday. 🎅🎄

The small-caps continued their quest while the Nasdaq was the only major index to close negative.

Why are the small-caps so strong? Nobody knows, but the Russell 2000 finished above 2000 for the first time ever. The Index hasn’t had a down week since October. The strength is incredible. 🙌 Here’s the Russell 2000 weekly chart:

Energy was the strongest sector, followed by financials. Real estate, tech, and utilities all closed lower. 

Jobless Claims fell to 803,000. That’s down 89,000 from a week ago. Not bad, but we’ve still got a ways to go. Here’s Crossing Wall Street with more.

XL Fleet flew 86%. The company provides electrification solutions to commercial fleet vehicles. The electric euphoria lives. ⚡️🔋

$PENN punched through 99 but closed at 96. Can the stock cross the century mark before 2020 ends? Place your bets… 

If you thought the second stimulus was signed, sealed, and delivered, think again. Today, President Trump vetoed the Defense Policy Bill and asked for adjustments to coronavirus relief. Here’s the WSJ with the details.

And here are the closing prints: 

S&P 5003,690+0.07%
Russell 20002,007+0.87%
Dow Jones30,129+0.38%

Covid Mutated 

In the UK, Covid cases surged throughout December, even with social distancing restrictions… and now we know why. 😬

The mutated coronavirus is spreading throughout the UK with adaptations that make it more easily transmitted. In fact, the new virus may even be up to 70% more transmittable. 

But researchers aren’t sounding the alarm yet— vaccine technology should be able to keep up. BioNTech Founder and CEO Uğur Şahin said: 

Technically it is possible to make a new vaccine mimicking the new strain in a few weeks. 

Here’s the WSJ with more on Covid in the UK. 

Cybersecurity Update 

On December 8, the government-contracted cybersecurity company Fire Eye was hacked by a foreign nation, or so the company believes. 

Yeah, not good.

So what’s the latest? It’s still too early to tell exactly what information was stolen, but Fire Eye’s now under investigation. Experts call the attack a “grave risk” to US security: 

It appears the attackers may have taken our own tools for finding vulnerabilities in foreign networks. They hacked our hacking capability. It’s very early, but the level of immediate reaction suggests a very, very serious intrusion.

The government recommends changing your passwords to sites like the IRS and Social Security. Check out this link for more info. 

The Airport of the Future?

Delhi Noida International Airport’s carbon net-zero designs have been released! 🤩

Architecture firms Grimshaw, Nordic Office of Architecture, Haptic R&D Consultants, and STUP won the design competition for the airport. Delhi Noida will be “India’s greenest airport.” 

Nordic Founding Partner Gudmund Stokke said:

Nordic, Grimshaw, Haptic and STUP will combine the collective experience and knowledge from the airports in Hyderabad, Oslo, Istanbul and Zurich to create a truly modern, innovative and green airport, based in a region of strong historic and cultural tradition.

The final design is an indoor courtyard with lots of light and space ventilation. The airport terminal will have capacity to serve 30 million passengers each year.

Here’s dezeen with more.

Faith in Humanity Restored

Say what you want about Dave Portnoy, but he’s an expert at rallying troops for a cause. He recently launched the Barstool Fund, aimed at helping small restaurants that have struggled during the pandemic. It’s been wildly successful.

In less than a week, the fund raised over $2.6M for various restaurants, including Abbey Bar in Wisconsin. Abbey Bar’s owner, Kerry Counard, said: 

It was certainly humbling and a little embarrassing.

Humans doing cool things for each other will never get old. 👏

Big Moves by Small Businesses

The pandemic was not kind to small businesses. Many restaurants closed their doors, and plenty of others struggled to adapt. 

But— the small businesses that managed to pivot have been killing it. 

Both Etsy ($ETSY) and Shopify ($SHOP) provide platforms for entrepreneurs to expand their audiences, and boy, have they reaped the benefits. Etsy’s stock quadrupled this year and Shopify’s tripled. 😮

Experts expect demand on these sites to stay after the pandemic. Except for masks (at least we hope 🤞), which accounted for 11% of all sales on Etsy in Q3. 

Etsy isn’t just for cat hats anymore. 😉

Earnings Round-Up

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