All major U.S. indices were marginally up on Wednesday, as it was reported that the U.S. trade deficit rose to a record high last month.
Data released by the commerce department today showed that the trade deficit rose by 4.8% to a new record of $71.1 billion in February.
Although markets had forecasted a $70.5 billion deficit, the actual sum saw U.S. economic activity gaining more than that of other global rivals, which is likely a result of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
Exports fell by 2.6% to $187.3 billion while imports dropped by roughly 0.7% to $258.3 billion.
As of writing the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were up 0.13% and 0.04% respectively.
Global air traffic down despite vaccine rollout
Figures released today by the International Air Transport Association showed that global air traffic remains muted, despite the COVID-19 vaccine being rapidly available.
The IATA stated that international passenger traffic was down by 89% in February, compared to time last year.
Although the outbreak in China began in mid-January 2020, the rest of the world didn’t experience the pandemic until a month later, with the first peak coming in March.
The director of the IATA Willie Walsh stated that, “International passenger traffic was down almost 89% and is showing no signs of recovery in the current environment”.
Many are hopeful that the situation will change during the summer months.
AstraZeneca falls as regulator confirms blood clot issues
After several European countries suspended the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine last month, it seems their concerns have finally been validated.
Ireland, Germany and Italy were among the EU countries which halted a roll out of the vaccine last month over blood clot worries, and the EMA have finally found links to suggest that this could be the case.
Although still maintaining that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, Europe’s Medicines Agency have now acknowledged the possibility of blood clots.
In a statement they stated, “after a very in-depth analysis, we have concluded that the reported cases of unusual blood clotting following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine should be listed as possible side effects of the vaccine”.
AstraZeneca’s share price fell 1.17% on the news.
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Senior Market Analyst