Weekly Market Commentary

July 27, 2020

 

The Markets

Where are we on vaccines and treatments?

During 2020, the United States government has spent more than $13 billion on Operation Warp Speed (OWS), which is focused on accelerating the development of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. The United States is not alone. Governments around the world are funding similar research as well.

Any progress on treatments and vaccines will be welcome news.

The resurgence of the virus may be one reason for the decline in U.S. stock markets last week. The Nasdaq Composite Index delivered back-to-back losses for the first time in more than a month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finished the week slightly lower. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the drop because there were many possible drivers. For instance, the Department of Labor reported the number of new unemployment claims increased, after 15 weeks of declines. Markets may have been concerned about increasing unemployment numbers when the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits expires at the end of this week. Congress has yet to agree on whether or how to extend benefits.

In addition, earnings have been less than stellar – as expected. Last week, 26 percent of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had reported second quarter results. The blended earnings, which combine actual results for companies that have reported with the estimated results for companies that have not yet reported, were down 42.4 percent.

Just For Fun. The terms money and currency are often used interchangeably.  The concept of money by extension…money cannot be touched or smelled. Currency is the coin, note, object, etc…”

See what else you know – or don’t – about money by taking this brief quiz:

  1. Which of the following was once used as currency?
    1. Tea bricks
    2. Knives
    3. Animal skins
    4. All of the above
  1. Which was the first animal to appear on a U.S. coin?
    1. An eagle
    2. A buffalo
    3. A jackalope
    4. A ring-necked pheasant
  1. What were nickels made of during WWII (1942-1945)?
    1. Nickel
    2. Metal alloy
    3. Steel
    4. Leather
  1. What is chrometophobia?
    1. Fear of thinking about money
    2. Fear of spending money
    3. Fear of touching money
    4. All of the above

 Focus On The Positive

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

–Yogi Berra, Professional baseball player

 

Answers:

  1. D – All of the above (Tea bricks, Knives, and animal skins)
  2. A – Eagle
  3. B – Metal alloy
  4. D – All of the above (Fear of thinking about money; fear of spending money; and fear of touching money)

 

Best regards,

Bill Spalding