April 2020 Economic Dashboard

April was a historic month for the US economy, as the coronavirus continued to grind parts of the economy to a halt. 20 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims, benchmark oil prices went negative for a short period, and the 1st Quarter GDP report, released April 29th, showed a -4.8% contraction. Despite the flurry of… Read More »

March 2020 Economic Dashboard

The eleven-year US bull market ended abruptly in March, yet another victim of the novel coronavirus.  The US has responded with two significant steps: Congress has passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package (equal to 10% of the economy) and the Federal Reserve has made up to $4 trillion (18% of the economy) in liquidity to… Read More »

February 2020 Economic Dashboard

Last month’s letter mentioned the coronavirus’ potential to infect global supply chains. February showed the risk materializing along with more widespread impacts on travel. The Federal Reserve’s 0.50% rate cut on March 3rd did little to assuage investors, highlighting the limitations of monetary policy tools in “treating” the virus. Nevertheless, consumers are enjoying the benefits… Read More »

January 2020 Economic Dashboard

One month into 2020 and the market has already had two major unexpected events thrown its way. Stocks shrugged off US-Iran hostilities quickly but have encountered additional volatility during the recent coronavirus outbreak. We’ll leave the health debate to the virologists, but it is important to consider the economic implications for China, and more importantly,… Read More »

December 2019 Economic Dashboard

The S&P 500 is coming off one of its best years of all-time, with a price return of 28.9%.  An initial reaction might be to take gains in anticipation of a pullback. History tells us such a response would be unwise, as the market has performed well following big up years. The graph below shows… Read More »