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At the beginning of the previous week the US stock market saw a moderate decline, with major stock indices retreating from previously reached record highs.

Market participants continued to follow corporate reports. Coca-Cola (KO) released its results earlier in the day. After the close of the trading session, the quarterly reports of IBM (IBM) were published. Tesla shares declined 3.8% after reports that two people were killed in an accident in Texas on Saturday in a Tesla car crash, has put pressure on the market. In addition, shares in many large US banks came under pressure as investors continued to take profits after posting solid results last week. Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan (JPM) were down 0.59% and 0.57%, respectively.

The decline continued on Tuesday mainly due to reports of a marked increase in COVID-19 cases in Asia and South America. Several blue-chip companies, including IBM (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Procter & Gamble (PG), were among the companies that announced their quarterly results the day before and on Tuesday. Netflix (NFLX) reports were released after the close of the trading session. Apple shares (AAPL) were also in the spotlight, which fell 1.28% as the world's largest tech company was scheduled to launch its new product launches.

The dynamics reversed the next day and the US stock market saw significant gains, mainly driven by the basic materials and healthcare sectors. However, the positive dynamics were offset by negative news about the spread of coronavirus in Asia and disappointing Netflix reporting.

The intentions of the US administration to raise taxes caused the stock market to fall by almost 1%. Reuters and Bloomberg sources reported that US President Biden intends to increase the capital gains tax from 20% to 39.6% for Americans with annual income of $ 1 million or more. This, together with the current tax on investment income, would mean a federal tax rate for investors at 43.4%. Market participants also assessed the new statistics. A Labor Department report found that weekly US jobless claims continued to decline in the past week, signaling fewer layoffs and reinforcing expectations for another month of record job growth in April as the opening of the economy spurs restrained demand. According to the report, initial claims for unemployment benefits were 547,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending April 17, up from 586,000 in the previous week. Economists had forecast 617,000 applications. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that sales of existing US homes fell sharply again in March. Sales of existing homes fell 3.7% in March to an annualized rate of 6.01 million in March, after falling 6.3% to a revised 6.24 million in February, according to the NAR. This is the lowest since August 2020. Economists had expected existing home sales to fall 0.5% to 6.19 million from 6.22 million originally reported in the previous month. Compared to March 2020, home sales in the secondary market increased by 12.3%.

The week ended with solid growth thanks to strong data. The IHS Markit report showed that business activity in the US grew at a record pace in April. The composite index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, is estimated to have risen to 62.2 from 59.7 in March. This was the highest since the start of the series in October 2009. The manufacturing index rose to 60.6 in the first half of this month. It was the highest since the start of the streak in May 2007, after a final reading of 59.1 in March. Economists had forecast the index would rise to 60.5 in early April. At the same time, the PMI for the services sector jumped to 63.1, the highest level since the start of the series in October 2009, from 60.4 in March. Economists had forecast that the index would only rise to 61.9. US Commerce Department data showed that US new home sales rose sharply in March, reaching their highest level since 2006, indicating that the housing market is back on track after winter storms that dampened demand in February.

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