Coming off its early September all-time high, the S&P 500’s winning streak of five monthly gains came to an end. Yet the U.S. equity benchmark index closed out the third quarter on a positive note amid data showing the economy is still on the road to recovery. The S&P 500 posted a near 9% gain in the third quarter, extending a rally from the previous three months to cap its best two-quarter performance since 2009, up 31.3%. The Nasdaq Composite surged over 45% over the past six months, its strongest two-quarter gain since 20001.
Going forward, investors’ resolve could be tested by an uptick in COVID-19 cases with flu season upon us and growing uncertainty over possible contested election results in November. Wall Street is also closely monitoring progress toward viable coronavirus vaccines and talks in Washington for a new stimulus package.
The fourth quarter could also see investors’ expectations cool around the speed of economic growth. We are recovering, but the road ahead may be longer than what markets are currently pricing in. While we don’t expect stock markets to go back to March lows, we do anticipate volatility over the next few months.
Your well-being is of foremost importance. We will continue to monitor the economic and market implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and make accessible updates as soon as they are available.
Remember, I am here to help you and your family answer any questions that you may have. As always, feel free to contact me directly at 330-908-1087 or you can e-mail me as well.
Stay healthy, stay safe and stay positive!
1Morningstar Direct (all equity performance percentages are total return based, which include reinvested dividends)