COVID-19 May Threaten the Recovery

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A new wave of COVID-19 cases threatens to trip up the economy. Increasing cases in Europe and the United States have brought new restrictions on activities, but the market doesn’t appear to be fazed by the recent outbreaks. Progress on developing vaccines has provided a clear boost to sentiment, but prospects for a divided Congress and the potential for more fiscal policy support also may be playing a role.

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Q3 Results Brighten 2020 Picture

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Corporate America delivered quite an encore to a surprisingly good second quarter earnings season with more of the same in the third quarter, despite a higher bar. S&P 500 Index companies didn’t quite match the biggest upside surprise ever—but they came close. We’re optimistic about the earnings recovery in 2021 and beyond, and outline five key takeaways for investors.

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Frothy Sentiment Rides Bullish Technicals

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The post-election environment and positive developments toward a COVID-19 vaccine have led to a surge in stock prices. The added clarity on these two fronts has boosted sentiment, which may present a risk in the near term as stock prices are near all-time highs.

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Market-Friendly Election Outcome

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Heading into the election, polling data and market signals disagreed on how close the presidential election would be, with market signals calling the race much closer—which turned out to be accurate. Now that we have more clarity on the results of the election, we can review what we believe will be some of the key market implications going forward.

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