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The Monday Mix: Jan. 18 – 24, 2021

Headlines discussed at LNMW’s Monday morning briefing:

Janet Yellen is set to be confirmed as US Treasury Secretary today; during Finance Committee questioning, she supported higher fiscal spending, a minimum corporate tax, and higher capital gains taxes for the wealthy.

US mortgage rates have started to move up but so far little impact on home buyers: mortgage applications to buy are up 15% from a year ago and 3% for the week; refinancing was down 5% for the week.

US manufacturing activity hit its highest level since May 2007 in the 1st half of Jan. (59 on a key index vs. 57 in Dec.), with supply squeezes driving up prices.

China saw more foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020 than any other country ($163 billion vs. $134 billion for the US)  as global FDI fell 40% due to Covid-19.

The European Central  Bank confirmed it will continue its bond-buying program (1.85 trillion euros) through March 2022 and keep key interest rates negative.

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