Economic Update

Market Week: November 16, 2020

The Markets (as of market close November 13, 2020)

Stocks soared to record highs last Monday following an announcement from a major pharmaceutical company of positive data on a COVID-19 vaccine. That news, coupled with President-elect Joe Biden’s win, helped buoy investor optimism. Cyclicals and bio-tech stocks led a powerful rally, which drove the Dow up 3.0%. The S&P 500 added 1.2%, the Russell 2000 climbed a robust 3.7%, and the Global Dow shot up 4.2%. The Nasdaq lost value as money moved from tech stocks to value shares. Energy shares jumped more than 14%, while financials advanced more than 8.0%. Crude oil prices, the dollar, and Treasury yields all rose.

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Market Week: November 9, 2020

The Markets (as of market close November 6, 2020)

Stocks rebounded last Monday with each of the benchmark indexes gaining value, led by the Russell 2000, which added 2.0%, followed by the Global Dow, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq. Treasury yields fell while the dollar and crude oil prices advanced. It is unclear what drove the market uptick. Some analysts suggest investors may see fiscal relief coming shortly after the election, while others proffer that the market gains were nothing more than dip-buying following last week’s selloff. Each of the major market sectors ended the day in the black, with energy and materials each advancing more than 3.0%.

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Market Week: November 2, 2020

The Markets (as of market close October 30, 2020)

Concern over a surge in COVID-19 cases drove equities lower last Monday. Each of the major indexes listed here fell, with the Dow plunging -2.3% and the S&P 500 (-1.9%) suffering its biggest one-day decline in a month. The losses could have been much worse had it not been for some encouraging words from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a fiscal stimulus deal. Nevertheless, an acceleration in COVID-19 cases coupled with the delay in fiscal stimulus was not a favorable combination of events for stocks. China’s plan to sanction major companies over arms sales to Taiwan added to the market’s slide. Each of the major market sectors took a hit with energy, communication services, financials, industrials, and information technology each sinking more than 2.0%. The dollar and Treasury yields rose, while crude oil prices sank.

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Market Month: October 2020

The Markets (as of market close October 30, 2020)

Stocks fell for the second consecutive month in October as rising COVID-19 cases and related deaths shunted signs of an economic rebound. The month began on an upswing with both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 posting their best weekly gains since July, and the Dow finally pushed ahead of its 2019 year-end value.

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Market Week: October 26, 2020

The Markets (as of market close October 23, 2020)

Last week started out poorly for equities as investors saw the faint hope of pre-election financial stimulus fade. The major indexes fell to their lowest levels in nearly two weeks by the close of trading last Monday. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 each dropped 1.6%, respectively. The Dow fell 1.4%, the Russell 2000 dipped 1.2%, and the Global Dow lost 0.4%. Treasury bond prices fell, driving yields higher. Crude oil prices and the dollar also lost value. All of the major market sectors closed in the red with energy, information technology, financials, real estate, and health care each falling by at least 1.5%.

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Market Week: October 19, 2020

The Markets (as of market close October 16, 2020)

Each of the benchmark indexes listed here advanced last Monday, climbing to their highest levels in more than a month. The Nasdaq advanced 2.6%, the S&P 500 gained 1.6%,the Dow added 0.9%, the Russell 2000 increased 0.7%, and the Global Dow picked up 0.7%. The Treasury market was closed for the Columbus Day holiday. Crude oil prices fell and the dollar was mixed. Mega-caps and tech stocks were big risers, along with communication services, consumer discretionary shares, and financials.

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Market Week: October 12, 2020

The Markets (as of market close October 9, 2020)

Last Monday saw stocks start the week on a high note, with each of the indexes listed here posting notable gains. The Russell 2000 led the way, adding 2.8%, followed by the Nasdaq (2.3%), the S&P 500 (1.8%), the Dow (1.7%), and the Global Dow (1.7%). Treasury yields and crude oil prices rose while the dollar fell. Energy, health care, and tech stocks led the market gains. Investors were encouraged by word that President Trump was expected to leave the hospital and return to the White House. That news, coupled with the possibility of fiscal stimulus in the near term, also helped propel stocks higher on the day.

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Market Week: October 5, 2020

The Markets (as of market close October 2, 2020)

Stocks began last week on a high note, with bank and energy stocks leading the way. European shares vaulted to heights not seen in more than three months. News from a large pharmaceutical company that its COVID-19 vaccine was yielding very favorable results helped drive cyclical stocks higher, while industrials, airlines, and energy shares also rallied. By the end of trading last Monday, the Russell 2000 climbed 2.4%, the Global Dow jumped 2.0%, the Nasdaq gained 1.9%, the S&P 500 advanced 1.6%, and the Dow gained 1.5%. Treasury yields and crude oil prices while the dollar dipped.

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Quarterly Market Review: July-September 2020

The Markets (third quarter through September 30, 2020)

July kicked off the third quarter with a bang as stocks surged throughout much of the month. Investors were encouraged by solid employment growth, a rise in personal income and consumer spending, a surge in the housing sector, and an increase in industrial production. All news was not positive, however. The second-quarter gross domestic product fell more than 31% and many states saw an increase in the number of reported COVID-19 cases. Nevertheless, investors stayed with equities, pushing values higher for the fourth consecutive month. Tech stocks drove the Nasdaq to a 6.8% gain, followed by the S&P 500 (5.5%), the Global Dow (3.5%), the small caps of the Russell 2000 (2.7%), and the Dow (2.4%). Treasury bond prices climbed, sending yields lower in July. Crude oil prices settled at $40.40 per barrel, nearly $1.00 ahead of their June closing values. Gold prices closed July at $1,990.00, about 11% higher than June’s closing price.

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Market Week: September 28, 2020

The Markets (as of market close September 25, 2020)

The major market indexes continued their slide to begin last week. With last Monday’s losses, the S&P 500 endured its longest losing streak since February, the Dow fell 1.8%, and the Nasdaq dropped for the fifth consecutive trading session. Among market sectors, commodity, industrial, and financial shares plunged. Sobering news that the COVID-19 virus could accelerate in the fall and winter raised the prospect of further shutdowns here and abroad. On the subject of shutdowns, the government faces one following the Republicans’ rejection of a Democrat-proposed funding bill. Treasury yields sank as bond prices rose. Crude oil fell while the dollar soared to an almost six-week high.

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