Dashboard

September 2020 Economic Dashboard

Market Data

As September came to a close, we are now 6 months from the bear market bottom of March 23rd. The market looks vastly different today than it did one year ago, but the S&P 500 is up 8.2% for the 1-year period ending on September 23rd. This compares favorably to the average returns over the… Read More »

August 2020 Economic Dashboard

Market Data

The S&P 500 closed August up 7%, pushing the index above its pre-COVID high set in February. Market momentum continued to accelerate from prior strength. Technology stocks and large-cap stocks continued to lead the market, maintaining the 2020 trend. However, in a positive sign for the broader market and economy, some more economically cyclical sectors… Read More »

July 2020 Economic Dashboard

Market Data

July was a very strong month for nearly all assets, including stocks. The S&P 500 rose 5% as interest rates continued to decline and the US dollar had its weakest month since 2010. Lower rates and a lower dollar should be positives for the economy going forward by stimulating investment and bolstering US exporters. A… Read More »

June 2020 Economic Dashboard

Market Data

The second quarter of 2020 happily contrasted to the first quarter, which experienced one of the worst declines in stock market history. Record fiscal and monetary stimulus accompanied by improving coronavirus-related news served as powerful tailwinds for the market. The Federal Reserve has stated a willingness to respond aggressively should the economy struggle to recover…. Read More »

May 2020 Economic Dashboard

Market Data

Since the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus, the two dominant economic questions have concerned 1) the depth of the economic decline and 2) the duration of the economic recovery. Massive global fiscal and monetary stimulus has helped reduce the depth of the economic decline. Policymakers have been aggressive in the amount of stimulus, as… Read More »

April 2020 Economic Dashboard

Market Data

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

Market Data

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

Market Data

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

Market Data

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

Market Data

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 »