The year 2020 will forever be marked as the year of COVID-19; a virus that saw more than 20 million infected and took more than 300,000 American lives; more than 1.5 million around the globe; a pandemic that forced the entire world to shut down. This virus is still impacting our lives and infecting more than 200,000 every day. Recent vaccine developments finally offer some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and reasons for optimism.
Stocks overcame a pair of contentious Senate runoff races, protestors storming the US Capitol, and a disappointing employment report to advance for the week and close at new all‐time highs. Bond markets have begun to price in higher inflation, greater‐than‐expected fiscal stimulus, and increased Treasury issuance with the 10‐year Treasury yield jumping 20 basis points, its biggest weekly increase
Finish strong. Stocks closed the quarter, and 2020, with strong returns, despite lingering economic concerns brought on by a resurgence in coronavirus cases, challenges with the vaccine roll‐out, and uncertainty around the policy implications following the Georgia Senate runoff outcome.
Equities ended the week, and the year, at new record highs amid the rollout of several Covid‐19 vaccines and a new economic relief package from Congress. Combining 2019 and 2020, the S&P and Nasdaq had their best two‐year performance since 1998 and 1999.
We have come through 2020 stronger, together and we’re here to help you jump start your 2021 with a few financial goals from our Managing Director Bentley Ford.
Equities were mixed in the holiday‐shortened week. The S&P 500 declined slightly, while the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 gained. It was the eighth straight weekly gain for the Russell 2000 which sits just below it’s all‐time high.
All four major stock market indices made record highs on Thursday, and advanced for the week. The Cboe VIX Volatility Index fell to 21.7 from 23.3 last week, and the US 10‐year Treasury yield rose 0.05% to 0.95%. Optimism for a new coronavirus relief bill fueled markets most of the week with lawmakers continually hinting that they were close to an agreement, but ultimately they failed to arrive at a stimulus deal by weeks end.
While each party has their own agenda for the economy, taxes, and spending, the market has continued having it’s own agenda. Regardless of the political party that leads the country from the
White House, the market has continued to push forward. As the graphic below shows, regardless of party, average market returns have been virtually the same.
The S&P 500 Index was down 4 of the 5 days during the week as optimism for additional fiscal stimulus began to fade. The House and Senate did pass a one‐week federal spending extension to avoid a shutdown through Dec. 18 to buy more time for a stimulus agreement.
Don’t tell December that it was a November to Remember. The S&P 500 large‐cap index, the tech‐heavy Nasdaq Composite, and the Russell 2000 small‐cap index all closed out the first week of December, right where they ended November, at new record highs.