Weekly Market Commentary

December 16, 2020

 

The Markets

Happy Holidays everyone!

Investor enthusiasm for stocks was supported by the AAII Sentiment Survey. Last week, 48.1 percent of participants were bullish and the longer-term average is 38 percent.

Even with that outlook U.S. stock indices finished lower last week. The decline has been attributed to a lack of new stimulus from Congress rather than concerns about share prices. Inflation worries may have played a role, too. Last week, headlines in both The Economist and The Wall Street Journal suggested the post-pandemic world may include higher inflation.

A holiday season like no other. The coronavirus, which The Economist estimates has infected one-in-five Americans, is reshaping holiday traditions this year. “COVID-19 is playing on shoppers’ psyches as they weigh its impact on their health and finances. But, as we’ve seen with previous periods of recession, as well as those of growth, consumers are resilient and will adjust their habits to adapt,” reported Deloitte’s 2020 holiday retail sales consumer survey report:

  • 33 percent of survey participants were in a worse financial position than last year, especially those in lower income groups.
  • 40 percent planned to spend less on the holidays than they did last year because they are concerned about the economy.
  • 51 percent were anxious about shopping in stores because of COVID-19. Deloitte estimated shoppers would spend about $390 of their holiday budgets in stores and $892 online.

The Deloitte survey identified four types of holiday shoppers:

  • The Festive Shopper: “These shoppers are all about buying gifts for others, keeping up with conventional shopping routines. They also outspend other types of shoppers.”
  • The Conscious Shopper: “These shoppers care about society and are willing to ‘put their money where their mouth is’ by paying more for socially responsible products.”
  • The DealSeeker: These shoppers “…enjoy the search for the right gift at the right price and will spend weeks shopping. [They’re] up for browsing and sifting through digital platforms, including social media, for attractive options.”
  • The Efficient Shopper: These shoppers “…aren’t in the mood to browse or get caught up in time-sucking events, like Black Friday. Shopping is a task, and they’ll seek out the easiest way to get it done.”

Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions?

 

Focus on The Positive

Funny Christmas Quotes

Charlie (the son) “Look you’re flying”!

Dad (who is now Santa Claus) It’s Ok, I’m used to it. I lived through the 60’s   –The Santa Claus