Alex Pettee, CFA
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
U.S. equity markets rebounded to fresh record-highs heading into the Christmas holiday after governments in the U.S. and U.K. showed restraint in instituting more severe economic restrictions amid the recent COVID reacceleration.
Bouncing back from an Omicron-driven sell-off and ending the week at fresh record highs, the S&P 500 rallied 2.3% on the week while Mid-Caps and Small-Caps each gained nearly 3%.
Real estate equities were mixed as a strong rebound from "COVID-sensitive" property sectors were offset by pressure on technology REITs, but REITs remain the best-performing major asset class of 2021.
Apartment REIT Bluerock Residential soared 70% after Blackstone announced it will acquire the small-cap REIT at a nearly 60% premium while fresh data showed that rents across the nation continue to soar at historic rates.
On a busy week of last-minute holiday shopping and travel, housing market data brought some much-needed "cheer." New and Existing Home Sales climbed to their highest levels since early 2021 as the broader U.S. housing industry remains the "gift that keeps on giving."