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The Race Is On — 2020 U.S. Election Calendar of Events

We’ve talked about it for months, and it’s finally here! The first Presidential debate is this Tuesday, September 29th — and we’re now just 39 days from Election Day 2020.

Does Covid Second Wave Seem Too Remote?

There are now more Covid-19 cases in Europe than there are in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Strikingly, France is truly in a second wave scenario, having just reported its highest number of cases since its lockdown expired — and more than it saw during the first wave’s peak.

Should Apple’s Stock Split Matter This Much?

At the close of business last Friday, August 28, 2020, Apple (AAPL), the first company to ever reach a market cap of $2 trillion, split its stock 4-for-1 effective for the following Monday’s trading session. This is its fifth split since going public in 1980. Apple’s stock price went from just shy of $500 per share at the close on Friday (8/28) to open at $127.58 on Monday (8/31). The total value of Apple didn’t fall, however, because while the price of a share was cut by 75%, there are now 4 times as many shares outstanding.

How Will the Fed’s New Inflation Target Impact Interest Rates?

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell announced the results of the year and a half long monetary policy framework review, and while it was somewhat telegraphed, it’s important for the path of interest rates.

Jobless Claims Dip Below One Million for First Time In 21 Weeks

Initial jobless claims beat expectations this week, falling below 1 million to 963,000 for the first time in 21 weeks. In an intriguing sign that economic activity may be restarting faster than expected, initial jobless claims are now the lowest they’ve been since mid-March.

Housing a Bright Spot in Economy as Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Level Ever

According to a weekly survey by Freddie Mac, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, now 2.88%, hit an all-time low dating back to the survey’s start in 1971.

Longest Bearish Streak In Retail Investor Sentiment Since 1987

Despite the recent rebound in the S&P 500 Index, which is up almost 45% from the March lows and just shy of 5% off of all-time highs, retail investor sentiment hasn’t rebounded like it has in the past.

Real Interest Rate Hits All-Time Low

While the real cost of debt has been declining for decades, the U.S. 10-Year Treasury inflation-protected security — or real interest rate — just hit a new all-time low today of -0.89% [Figure 1]. 

Equity markets mixed last week as vaccine optimism offsets virus outbreaks

COVID-19 continues to dominate the headlines, as hotspot states struggle to control their outbreaks. Democratic Representative of Florida Donald Shalala called his state’s situation “totally out of control.” Despite the viral surge, vaccine optimism drove some sectors of the market higher as multiple vaccine candidates showed breakthroughs in development.

Lookin’ for yield in all the…right places?

With the U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield hovering around 0.60%, it’s no wonder investors are looking for alternative sources of yield. One alternative that has gained in popularity? Convertible bonds.

Market rally continues amid record surge in Covid-19 hotspots

Covid-19 infections continued to rise last week, setting daily records for deaths in U.S. hot spots such as Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California. As of last Sunday, July 12th, 7-day average deaths in the U.S. were 729, up from 600 in late June. That’s still under the more than 2,200 deaths per day in mid-April. The Covid-19 surge, however, doesn’t appear to be dampening the market’s enthusiasm.  

Buoyed by the Fed, Investment Grade Bond Market Hits New Highs

As of Tuesday of this week, the iBoxx USD Liquid Investment Grade Index, which tracks the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade (IG) corporate bonds, hit both YTD and all-time highs.

Markets Up Last Week as Strong Jobs Numbers Offset Covid Caution

The spread of Covid-19 increased in dramatic fashion last week, especially in the Sun Belt and the South, with Arizona, California, Texas, and Florida posting single-day all-time records for new cases. Confirmed cases in the U.S. overall have topped 2.9 million and there have been more than 132,000 deaths resulting from the virus.

What’s In a Name? Differences in Dividend Strategies

Are all dividend strategies created equal? One look at the 16.6% year-to-date (YTD) spread between the Dow Jones Select Dividend Index and the Nasdaq Dividend Achievers Select Index suggests no, they’re not. 

Markets Move Lower On Record Rise In Covid Cases Across the U.S.

The push-pull dynamic of reopenings and increased spread of Covid-19 dominated last week with the U.S. seeing a record rise in the total number of new cases. Equities closed on their lows Friday, as some of the hardest-hit and most populous states in the South and West saw Covid cases surge, prompting a pause or rollback of their reopening processes.

Fed Unconcerned about Asset Bubbles as Rebound Continues

Markets rebounded last week, erasing about half of the losses from two weeks ago in what we continue to view as healthy price action. Regional leadership was mixed, with international developed markets outperforming (MXEA +2.1%) due to strength in European markets, emerging market equities lagging (MXEF +1.6%), and domestic equities slotting in between the two (SPX +1.9%).
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