The New Abnormal
The Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented and unconventional monetary and fiscal stimulus programs to stabilize the financial markets will likely lead to a visibly different financial market environment in the years ahead. Forget normal, the eventual unwinding of these massive stimulus programs will create a New Abnormal as compared to the more popular New Normal thinking that currently prevails among economists and market pundits. Nonetheless, the impact on global interest rates, credits, global growth, market volatility, and investment returns is real and will impact consumers, savers, lenders, investors, and almost everyone in the global markets.
Although we are currently trading at uncharted territories there remain looming questions as to the outcome and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Main Street (U.S. economy) and Wall Street (Stocks) continue to diverge. Despite the visible discrepancy, investors and traders remain active in the stock market as they buy companies and industries that they believe will outperform and sell the laggards that they deemed will underperform. With the end of the month as well as the end of summer approaching it will be interesting to see if this current trend persists.
As of today, this marked the 165th calendar day and the 116th trading day since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite the sharp 35.41% bear decline in SPX and the ensuing 52.44% bull rally from the Mar 2020 bottom, the performances in sectors and stocks remain uneven with many flourishing and many more floundering.
As you prepare for month-end and summer-end portfolio reviews enclosed are the absolute and relative percentage returns between 3/11/20 to 8/24/20 for each of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors. Also attached are the year-to-date returns of individual S&P 500 sub-industries.