Today, I'd like to provide an update on the coronavirus, including the economic and market implications. On the medical front, the holiday infection surges have faded. Case growth remains high, but we saw improvements in positive testing rates, as well as a decline in hospitalizations. Absent a sudden appearance of the more infectious strain of the virus, we are likely to see more progress in the next couple of weeks as vaccine deployment accelerates.
Despite the positive medical news, the economic data remains soft. Government shutdowns and changes in consumer behavior hit the economy hard in recent weeks. Job growth went negative for December, and layoffs remain very high. With the job market down, consumer confidence got even softer, and we saw a drop in retail spending.
But with more stimulus likely and markets continuing to hit all-time highs, will the economic risks soon be moving behind us? Watch my latest video to learn more.