Market Thoughts June 2021

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for May. It was a mixed bag for the markets, with the Dow up more than 2 percent, the S&P 500 up slightly, and the Nasdaq down. On the medical front, case growth and death rates declined, and more than 4 of 10 people are now fully vaccinated. With fading medical risks, the economy continued to improve. Layoffs are trending down, and consumer confidence remains close to pre-pandemic levels. So, could we be back to normal by the summer? Stay tuned to find out.

Market Thoughts May 2021

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for April. It was a good month for the markets. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained more than 5 percent, while the Dow was up almost 3 percent. These returns were driven, in part, by the medical news, with new case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths all down. While the medical risks declined, reopening accelerated. Job growth rose, and weekly layoffs dropped. Consumer confidence and spending also improved. Will these positive trends persist? Stay tuned for more. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.

Market Thoughts April 2021

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for March. We saw a strong end to a healthy first quarter for stock markets. Both the Dow and S&P 500 here in the U.S. showed gains, while developed markets abroad showed lower but still positive returns. We also had good news on the economic front. Hiring rebounded, layoffs dropped, and consumer confidence rose to post-pandemic highs. But with more work to do to contain the medical risks, when will the economy return to full health? Stay tuned to find out. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.

Market Thoughts March 2021

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for February. Markets climbed last month, although they faced some turbulence on a spike in interest rates. While markets were choppy, the medical news improved. New cases and hospitalizations dropped, and vaccinations more than doubled. On the economic front, unemployment remains high, but companies are hiring again. Plus, stimulus payments hit bank accounts, and consumer confidence is moving up. Could a return to normal be in sight? Stay tuned to find out. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.

Market Thoughts February 2021

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for January. Most developed markets were down slightly, including the Dow and S&P 500 in the U.S., as well as developed markets abroad. Despite the weak January numbers, markets remain near all-time highs. On the economic front, layoffs were high and retail spending dropped. But with federal stimulus payments, consumer confidence has begun to recover, boosting higher-frequency spending data. So, will the recovery remain resilient? Stay tuned to find out. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.

Market Thoughts for December 2020

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for November. It was a very strong month for the stock markets, with most up by double digits. With good news on vaccines and the resolution of the presidential election, investors gained confidence. But medical risks remain, and the economic risks rose. Layoffs increased, and consumer confidence declined. Business confidence remained high but has pulled back. So, is there reason to believe that things will improve in the months ahead? Stay tuned to find out.

Market Thoughts for November 2020

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for October. The markets started the month strong but rolled over on rising medical risks. Fortunately, the impact was cushioned by better economic news. Layoffs dropped, and consumer confidence held at higher levels. As a result, spending held up better than expected, and the housing market has boomed. Business confidence and investment have also been healthy. With the election just around the corner, could we face more risks ahead? Stay tuned to find out. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.

Market Thoughts for October 2020

Brad McMillan, Commonwealth’s CIO, recaps the market and economic news for September. It was a tough month for the markets. They began September with a drop and ended the month with everything down, but by much less than feared. The economic news was better, with improved data from the labor market and consumer confidence bouncing back. Business confidence and investment were also healthy. Overall, the recovery looks to be on a solid foundation. But could the upcoming election pose a real risk? Stay tuned to find out. Follow Brad at blog.commonwealth.com/independent-market-observer.