Investors have skin in the game. That means that when we are wrong and make the wrong allocations according to our error, we get punished. This does not logically imply that investors are always right. Bubbles seem to be a real thing. But it does mean that investors might have a more direct set of incentives when it comes to the economic outlook than, for example, pundits or people who are asked about their confidence levels in general opinion surveys.
First, let me introduce the most important economic statistic that you've (probably) never heard of, Gross Output. It was invented by economist Mark Skousen and was adopted by the federal government, which now reports it quarterly. Unlike GDP, Gross Output includes the stages of production which occur before the transactions which are counted in GDP. It's a fuller picture, more like a cat-scan than an X-ray.
Financial markets ended the year strongly. News of a vaccine, a national election and further stimulus all contributed to investment optimism about an economy being reopened and confidence in new leadership.
Vident Financial Q3 Review: Financial markets were mostly positive and volatile during the third quarter. Pandemic news along with the upcoming election created different versions of the future. The off and on-again fiscal stimulus talks along with the Federal Reserve responses added to the uncertainty.