January 15, 2021
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Top Story
JPMorgan Chase has reported $12.1 billion in fourth-quarter net income, or $3.79 in earnings per share, up from $2.57 per share in Q4 of 2019 and well past analysts' expectation of $2.62 per share. The jump is attributed to strength in trading and investment banking.
Full Story: CNBC (1/15),  Reuters (1/15) 
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Industry Update
Goldman Sachs expects the 10-year Treasury yield to reach 1.5%, rather than 1.3%, by year-end, citing "revived reflationary themes." Policy under the Biden administration "should translate into a greater fiscal impulse than under our previous divided government baseline," Goldman strategists say.
Full Story: Bloomberg (1/14) 
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President-elect Joe Biden says he will ask Congress to act swiftly to provide $1.9 trillion in immediate relief to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes aid to states and cities, additional unemployment benefits, larger direct payments to Americans and a minimum wage increase.
Full Story: Bloomberg (1/14),  CNBC (1/14),  The New York Times (1/15),  Reuters (1/15) 
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US banks face a challenging earnings season as the outlook for 2021 remains uncertain. Although government support for the economy and robust trading revenue have shielded banks from the worst fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts expect fourth-quarter reports to show earnings under pressure and rising impairment costs.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (1/14),  Forbes (tiered subscription model) (1/13) 
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An average of 30 million equity options contracts traded daily on exchanges in 2020, up more than 50% compared with 2019, and that figure has risen past 40 million in recent weeks, according to Options Clearing. The flood of trading shows no signs of abating as technology makes it easier for retail investors to purchase options.
Full Story: The Economist (tiered subscription model) (1/16) 
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New York Focus
Some restaurants in COVID-19 hot spots in New York state are being allowed to offer limited indoor dining amid the latest lawsuit being brought against Gov. Andrew Cuomo regarding coronavirus restrictions. Indoor dining in New York City is still banned.
Full Story: The Associated Press (1/15) 
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New York City tenants have accumulated debt of more than $1 billion from missed rent payments since the start of the pandemic, according to a landlord trade group known as the Community Housing Improvement Program. Its survey of landlords estimated that up to 185,000 households are more than two months behind on rent and owe an average of more than $6,000.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (1/14) 
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People & Personalities
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank has no intention of tightening US monetary policy or paring back its bond-buying program any time soon. Powell said that now is "not the time" to think about ending central bank support for the economy given that inflation and employment are tracking below target.
Full Story: Reuters (1/14),  MarketWatch (tiered subscription model) (1/14),  Financial Times (subscription required) (1/14) 
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On The Economy
Initial unemployment claims reached 965,000 last week, up 181,000 compared with the previous week and the highest tally since August, according to the Labor Department.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (1/14),  CNBC (1/14) 
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Financial Products
Franklin Templeton brought to Cboe Global Markets an exchange-traded fund that invests in companies engaged in the "creation, cleaning, storage and delivery" of big data sets. The Franklin Exponential Data ETF is run by portfolio manager Matt Moberg.
Full Story: ETF (1/14) 
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CFA Society New York News
The CFA Society New York Asset Owner Series is a collection of exclusive events for investment industry executives looking to improve their asset-management strategies and advance their market knowledge with the guidance of some of the most experienced minds CFA Society New York has to offer.
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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the US. There are more than 75 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the US, of which 95% -- more than 71 million customers -- receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than 30% of US energy needs.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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