The Independent Market Observer

Coronavirus Update: January 22, 2021 [Video]

January 22, 2021

Today, I'd like to provide an update on the coronavirus, including the economic and market implications. On the medical front, the holiday infection surges have faded. Case growth remains high, but we saw improvements in positive testing rates, as well as a decline in hospitalizations. Absent a sudden appearance of the more infectious strain of the virus, we are likely to see more progress in the next couple of weeks as vaccine deployment accelerates.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Progress on Medical Front, But Economic Data Remains Soft

January 21, 2021

For the first time in quite a while, the big picture is positive. On the medical front, the post-Christmas/New Year travel surge has faded, testing has resumed at scale, and the positive test rates have dropped back down. The trends are now positive and likely to remain that way.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

How to Think About Politics and Investments

January 20, 2021

It seems appropriate today to consider how we think about politics when we look at our investments. With one administration ending and another starting, politics has obviously consumed much of everyone’s thoughts in the past weeks and months. With the outcome of the election, many are worried—and many are excited. With a new set of policies and priorities, we can reasonably expect the economy to change and the markets to react. Given the emotions that politics evokes, how do we think about politics as we make our investment decisions?

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Monday Update (on Tuesday): Pandemic Slows Economic Recovery

January 19, 2021

Last week was packed with economic updates, with the reports showing mixed results. Disappointing initial unemployment claims and retail sales reports contrasted with a better-than-expected industrial production release. This week will be another busy one for updates, with a focus on housing data and the weekly initial jobless claims report.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

The Biden Stimulus Plan

January 15, 2021

The economic news has continued to soften in recent days. December saw layoffs go up and the number of jobs decline, and, this morning, the retail sales numbers dropped. Consumer confidence has gone down. Clearly, the economic headwinds from the pandemic are getting worse.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Financial Markets Hold Gains on Vaccine and Stimulus News

January 14, 2021

As expected, we saw infections due to holiday travel showing up in the data over the past week, with case counts rising to new highs. But by week’s end, there were signs that case growth was peaking as the holiday travel effects started to fade. We could now be approaching the peak, although the events in Washington on January 6 are now presenting a risk of another wave of travel-induced infections. We should know in the next week or so if that is the case.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Monthly Market Risk Update: January 2021

January 13, 2021

My colleague Sam Millette, senior investment research analyst on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, has helped me put together this month’s Market Risk Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam!!

Markets continued to rally into the end of the year, with strong December results wrapping up a solid year for equities. The S&P 500 gained 3.17 percent during the month as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.41 percent and the Nasdaq Composite rose by 5.71 percent. Despite the strong returns in December to cap off the year, markets still face very real risks.

Continue reading → Leave a comment

Subscribe via E-mail

New call-to-action
Crash-Test Investing
Commonwealth Independent Advisor

Hot Topics

New Call-to-action



see all



The information on this website is intended for informational/educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, a solicitation, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average performance of 500 widely held common stocks. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly into an index.

The MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australasia, Far East) is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of 21 developed market country indices.  

Third party links are provided to you as a courtesy. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these websites. Information on such sites, including third party links contained within, should not be construed as an endorsement or adoption by Commonwealth of any kind. You should consult with a financial advisor regarding your specific situation.


Please review our Terms of Use

Commonwealth Financial Network®