The year of 2020 is mercifully behind us. It was a truly extraordinary year for the entire world and even more so for financial markets. The year started with the impeachment of an American President, followed by a pandemic that infected millions all over the world, a global recession which this pandemic caused, a bear market reminiscent of the financial crisis of 2008 and a level of social unrest that overshadowed the late 1960s – all of that unfolding against the backdrop of a presidential election, contentious to the point where fears of civil conflict were openly discussed.
The third quarter of a rather eventful 2020 saw the stock market’s continued recovery from the March lows earlier in the year. Equities climbed higher, with the broad U.S. indices soaring to new all-time highs before paring back some gains in September. Overall, it was the second consecutive quarter of notable market advances.
When the second quarter began, the stock market was just beginning to recover from one of the worst and quickest declines in history. By the end of June, U.S. stocks registered healthy gains, closing out a more upbeat quarter that saw strong advances across all equity markets. The S&P 500 Index posted its best quarter since 1998 with a 20.54% positive move, offsetting most of the pandemic-related drop from February’s highs to March’s lows.
Global stock prices suffered a sharp first quarter fall as the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a global economic shutdown. This pandemic-driven selloff, heightened by turmoil in the global oil markets, was unprecedented in its speed and severity. From February 19th to March 23rd, the U.S. stock market lost over 30% of its value.
2019 turned out to be a good year for the U.S. economy and an excellent one for investment returns with stocks bouncing back from a difficult 2018. From the beginning of the year, January’s rally helped set the tone in which the market responded to every downturn with a more sustained upswing. Along the way, stocks kept setting records – 35 of them for the S&P 500 Index, 22 for the Dow Jones Industrial Index and 31 for the Nasdaq.
RMDs Get a Small Reprieve
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2022 Contribution Limits
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Retirement Preparation Mistakes
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End-of-the Year Money Move
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Mixed Signals on Inflation
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The Need for Power of Attorney
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The Cryptocurrency Conundrum
It’s more important than ever to be aware of your risk tolerance
The Quiet Fall in Bond Yields
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A COLA with Your Social Security?
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The Many Forms of Fixed Income
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“Green Shoots” in the Economy
Investors looking for “green shoots” to confirm that the economy is on the mend
The Whims of Wall Street
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Earnings Season Gets Underway
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Outlook 2021: Bond Prices
The 10-year Treasury yield has climbed higher since the New Year, which means that some bond prices are dropping
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When the Fed Talks Inflation, Bond Investors Listen
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Ouch: September’s Market Correction Hurt
In theory, investors understand that stock market corrections are part of the investing process
What Are Stock Splits?
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A Stock Market Lesson to Remember
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What Makes 2020 A Unique Year For Retirement
Answer: Big changes to retirement account rules