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Earnings look set to stabilise wobbling markets

Last year, equity markets started to wobble around this time. For example, on 19 February 2020, the NASDAQ 100 closed at an all-time high of 9718.73 before sliding back as the far-reaching implications of the pandemic started taking their toll.

This year, the pattern of moves has been similar, with the same index closing at another all-time high of 13807.7 on 12 February 2021. As of Thursday’s close last week, it was at 12828.31, 7.1% down from its high and back at almost exactly the same level as we started the year.

 

Will the IPO feast leave some investors with indigestion?

Not long ago, market commentators were debating why companies seemed to want to stay private. Back in 2015 and 2016, Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) fell substantially, with newer start-ups preferring to stay off the market. Now, that trend has reversed entirely. After opening back up in the second half of last year, the IPO market sprung to life for the remainder of 2020, and there has been no let up so far this year. Not only have a staggering number of new companies come to market in recent months, but many have floated with exorbitant valuations.

 

Corporate taxation becomes a global fixation

It would be some understatement to say that Rishi Sunak had an interesting start to life as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Less than a month into the job, Sunak delivered his first Budget as the UK economy was closing it shutters and a black hole in public finances was expanding. One year on, his second Budget looks to be just as eventful. The immediate priority is clearly to continue emergency support for the general public, but with the government’s roadmap to normality now firmly in place, all eyes are on Sunak’s plans for a post-pandemic recovery.

 

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