What Worked In Q3

Stocks fared well during the third quarter despite September’s weakness, with the S&P 500 Index returning about 9%. The quarterly gain brought the return through the first nine months of the year to 5.6%. Here we peel back the onion on the third quarter’s stock performance to look at what worked and what didn’t. Read more

COVID-19 Trends Weaken the Case for Investing in Europe

In recent months, we have warmed up to Europe as a destination for equity investments in global portfolios. Through July, Europe had done a relatively good job containing the first wave of COVID-19, and cases were plummeting to multi-month lows. Meanwhile, the United States was struggling with its second wave—or perhaps the second phase of the first wave—and was seeing cases surge in July despite the warm summer weather. Read more

July PMI Data Shows Recovery Chugging Along

We’ve written quite a bit lately about the deterioration in high-frequency data. Indicators of mobility (such as auto and air travel, commuting activity, restaurant diners, etc.) leveled off in July due to the latest wave of COVID-19 cases. The strong rebound in the job market reflected in May and June jobs data has faded, based on the increase in continuing claims reported last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read more

Dollar Weakness May Continue

The US dollar was remarkably strong during the first quarter of 2020, benefitting from the flight to safety and rallying to nearly a 10% year-to-date gain at the stock market’s low point on March 23. However, as equity markets have recovered, and the US has continued to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the dollar has given up nearly all of those gains. We think this trend may continue, and if so, it would have important implications for a range of asset classes. Read more

Taking Stock at the Halfway Mark

It’s certainly been a wild ride for stocks in 2020. Barely past the halfway point, the year has already brought the worst pandemic to hit the US in over 100 years, an unprecedented government-induced recession as much of the country was locked down, some stomach-churning market volatility, and massive, unprecedented stimulus from policymakers totaling several trillion dollars—that’s trillion with a “t”. Read more