Stock market weakness late last week caused investors to ask whether the long-awaited market pullback may be at hand. This week, we review the drivers of the market’s impressive rally back to the break-even point for the year, share our thoughts on whether the gains are justified, and take a look at some timely data for clues on the state of the economic recovery.
2020 is an election year, and as we get closer to November, we expect this to replace COVID-19 and the recession at the top of investors’ minds. The makeup of Congress may influence stock market performance, and how stocks and the economy perform prior to the election may forecast who will win.
This earnings season may be one to forget. We will see one of the biggest year-over-year quarterly declines in S&P 500 Index profits ever, and we will hear a lot about uncertainty facing corporate America as COVID19 continues to impact many companies in the United States and globally. But it may not all be negative.
Among developed markets, we maintain our preference for US equities over international, but the bout of strong performance for the MSCI EAFE Index relative to the S&P 500 Index in late May through early June and the latest weakness in the US dollar are noteworthy. We share our latest thoughts on international equities and reiterate our positive emerging markets view.