After suffering through their worst weekly loss since the end of October two weeks ago, U.S. equities came roaring back with their best gain since the first week in November, closing on Friday at a new record high. The S&P 500® Index surged to a 4.6 percent gain while shrugging off the short squeeze distraction and focusing on the promise of more stimulus, pushing the index back into a gain for the year-to-date of 3.5 percent. Small stocks once again led the way as the Russell 2000 Index climbed 7.7 percent, leaving it higher on the year by 13.1 percent. Fourth quarter corporate earnings continue to exceed expectations, with year-over-year growth now expected in the quarter, a remarkable turnaround from expectations of just one month ago.[i] The VIX index tumbled last week, declining from 33 to 21, washing out the previous week’s short squeeze induced anxiety.