With the previous week’s short-squeeze headlines behind us, investors remained optimistic about a fiscal support package, which passed the Senate by a vote of 51-50, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie.
February begins with a stack of important economic scorecards. Among them are the last of the fourth-quarter corporate earnings reports, last week’s assessment of the 2020 gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment figures, consumer spending, as well as all the other regular reports that give us a snapshot of our recent economic history.
Real GDP rose at a 4.0% annual rate in the advance estimate for 4Q20, a much more moderate pace of recovery than was seen in the third quarter. Details were mixed, but consumer spending showed a significant loss of momentum and monthly figures reflected weakness in November and December.
As expected, the new administration has hit the ground running. In his first two days in office, President Biden issued executive orders which rescinded a number of previous directives or were aimed at ending the pandemic and easing the pandemic’s economic impact.
Judging by recent phone calls and email queries, inflation is a serious concern among investors this year.
For stock market participants, weak economic data has often been taken as a positive, since that implies more fiscal stimulus. However, investors have grown more concerned about possible stumbling blocks. Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are very narrow, some lawmakers are worried about running up the debt, and the window for bipartisan agreement may be short.
What can investors expect this year? Positive (but unsteady) economic growth, a powerful boost in earnings and continued success for information technology stocks, says Raymond James Chief Investment Officer Larry Adam.
The December Employment Report reflected an impact from the pandemic surge and further job losses in state and local government, but wasn’t bad otherwise.
Raymond James Chief Economist Dr. Scott Brown reflects on the trials and tribulations of 2020 and discusses his outlook for the new year.
The holiday shopping season is critical for most retailers. For some, the season is make or break for the whole year. The November retail sales report was weaker than expected, although amplified by the seasonal adjustment. No surprise, consumers are increasingly shopping online.
As the end of 2020 draws near, many of us are anxious to put this tumultuous year behind us, choosing to look ahead to 2021 in hopes that happier, healthier, and more prosperous times will be had by all.
The news on vaccines has boosted optimism for the economy for 2021. In contrast, near-term developments have been unfavorable. COVID-19 cases have surged and in all likelihood will rise further in upcoming weeks.
With apps designed for entertainment, travel, business, fitness, productivity, and more, the slogan ‘there’s an app for that’ sure seems to be true. But just as our daily lives are engrained in technology, the equity market’s performance has been reliant upon technology too.
The November Employment Reports was a bit disappointing. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 245,000 (vs. a median forecast of 485,000). The increase was held back by the loss of 93,000 temporary census workers.
Chief Economist Scott Brown discusses current economic conditions.
The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 are now all in positive territory for the year.
Whether you’re celebrating in-person or virtually, we’re wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! Giving thanks may seem difficult to do in a year that’s resulted in the loss of so many lives, jobs, and businesses, but we believe this holiday is the perfect time to reflect on all we are grateful for.
Election results (a divided Washington) and good news on a potential vaccine boosted share prices, although there were some concerns about surging COVID-19 cases (163,402 reported on November 12) and possible difficulties in distributing the vaccine.
With a likely split-Congress outcome lowering the chances of substantial policy shifts, investors are refocusing on supportive fundamentals and the recovering economy. Raymond James CIO Larry Adam offers his perspective.
Recent data reports have been consistent with a further rebound in economic activity, but we still have a long way to get back to where we were before the pandemic and the pace of improvement has moderated.
The market through October continued to make the case for a steady approach to investing, especially as this is a historically volatile time – the months surrounding a U.S. presidential election – amid a historic, complicated year.
Your voice, your vote! With only four days remaining until Election Day, more than 84 million voters have already voiced their choice—over 61% of the total turnout of the 2016 election.
The S&P 500 posted its worst daily decline since late September but didn’t entirely erode October gains.
It’s the final countdown! Between the flared debate tensions and President Trump testing positive for COVID-19 on the campaign trail, the 2020 presidential election has arguably been one of the most contested and unique battles for the presidency in history.
There are a number of uncertainties heading into the November 4 election and many more as we look ahead into 2021. There’s a long held belief that the stock market abhors uncertainty. There’s also an old adage that says the market often climbs a wall of worry.
By now, it should be clear that COVID-19 is not going to go away anytime soon. Consumers and businesses are getting used to living and working under the pandemic and some changes, such as the tendency to work from home, will likely be long-lasting. The economy is always evolving. However, rapid changes can be destabilizing. There will be a number of challenges in the new year.
The initial efforts by policy makers positioned the economy for a robust rebound off the depressed levels, but there are still many moving pieces in order for the economy to return to pre-COVID levels.
Job losses in the early stages of the pandemic were more concentrated among low-wage workers. About half of those jobs have come back. For high-wage workers, who have been more able to work from home, job losses were less severe and have rebounded much better.
Nonfarm payrolls continued to recover in September, although the pace of improvement has slowed and we are unlikely to return to February levels until the pandemic is well behind us. The impact of COVID-19 has been uneven, with job losses remaining more severe in lower-paying service industries. Consumer spending has improved, though mixed across sectors. Further fiscal support will be critical for the unemployed.
Many factors feed into the relative strength or weakness of the U.S. economy, but the president traditionally receives the credit or blame. Fiscal policy – taxes and government spending – have an important role in economic activity, and confidence can drive consumer spending and business investment decisions.
The fastest, most economically destructive recession is now in investors’ rearview mirrors. CIO Larry Adam shares his perspective on the unfolding recovery.
Despite a September slump, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ wrapped up the third quarter with gains of 8.47% and 11%, respectively.
The first of three presidential debates is set for the evening of September 29. The topics, chosen by the Chris Wallace, the moderator, will be the Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, racial tensions, and election integrity.
Today is National Family Health and Fitness Day! The COVID-19 outbreak undoubtedly brought our health and the health of our loved ones to the forefront of our minds, and with many states closing fitness centers in the initial stages of the lockdowns, the virus certainly challenged our traditional methods for exercise too.
The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ignited a fight over her replacement. The increased animosity in Washington lowered the odds that lawmakers will reach agreement on a further fiscal support package and dampened investor sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial dipped almost 3% on Monday, and the S&P 500 slid more than 2% from the previous week, off about 7% from its recent highs earlier this month.
There were no significant surprises following the September 15-16 Federal Open Market Committee meeting. As expected, short-term interest rates were left unchanged and the FOMC did not alter its asset purchase plans.
The start of this year was calm with the economic expansion reaching a record duration, unemployment at record lows, and earnings growth set to reach all-time highs. However, a ‘Black Swan’ event—COVID-19—erupted, driving market and economic volatility to unprecedented levels.
The major stock market indices were choppy on a day-to-day basis, as investors continued to reevaluate the rally off the lows. The economic data reports were inconsequential.
Review the latest Weekly Headings by CIO Larry Adam.
Private–sector payrolls rose by 1.027 million in the initial estimate for August. Normally, such a gain would be considered outstanding. However, in this recovery, that comes as a disappointment.
Led by technology and large-cap companies, the S&P 500 is on pace to post its best summer performance in over 80 years.
The Fed updated its monetary policy framework, moving to a flexible average inflation target. That means that the central bank will target an average inflation rate of 2% (as measured by the PCE Price Index) over time.
While a panoramic view of broader economic and market developments will always be a crucial shot when constructing our outlook, sometimes it is important for us to bring certain sectors into focus.
In the minutes of the July 28-29 FOMC meeting, participants expected no change in policy rates anytime soon, but officials saw a need for more clarity regarding the likely path, such as adopting output-based forward guidance.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell below one million for the first time since mid-March (20 weeks). However, unadjusted claims had already dipped below that level a week earlier. Unadjusted claims totaled 831,000.