Weekly Market Commentary
December 30, 2020

We Made It

The Markets

U.S. stock markets remained calm as a fresh chapter opened in the coronavirus stimulus saga last week.

Congress managed to cobble together a new stimulus package that was acceptable to both sides and pass it. The proposed package included money to help states distribute vaccines, an unemployment benefits extension, $600 checks for eligible Americans, aid for airlines, and other provisions.

Fiscal support is seen as critical to keep the economic recovery from faltering as coronavirus cases rise and cities consider new shutdowns. Consumer spending has flagged, and labor market gains have begun to stall. While the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits declined last week, it still remains elevated compared with pre-COVID levels.

Stock investors appeared optimistic President Trump would sign the bill. News of a Brexit trade deal and a more contagious version of the virus in the United Kingdom had limited impact on U.S. markets.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE RISKS. After a year of living with the fear of COVID-19, many investors are hoping 2021 will bring a return to ‘normal,’ even if the new normal may not be exactly like the old one.

Optimism about the future has many investors feeling bullish, according to most of the sentiment surveys listed in Barron’s last week. Financial Times reported, “Almost universally, fund managers believe the year will bring a rebound in economic activity, supporting assets that have already soared in value since the depths of the pandemic crisis in March, but also lifting sectors that had been left behind. Bond yields are expected to stay low, lending further support to stock valuations.”

It’s possible none of these will occur and investors will sail smoothly into and through the new year. We hope that’s the case and next year brings with it a return to normal. Just remember, normal doesn’t mean risk-free. In 2021, investors will still need to balance risk and reward on the journey toward their financial goals – just as they do every year.

Focus On The Positive

We made it through. The market recovered from an historic sell off and a vaccine is starting for the virus. There has been much less traffic. Almost everything can be delivered to your address of choice. We had time with our families. What are some of yours?