Today, I'd like to give an update on the coronavirus, including the effects on the economy and markets. On the pandemic front, we’ve had some good news. Case growth is down significantly, and the case growth rate is below the lows seen in mid-June. Further, outbreaks in most states have been contained, although there are emerging worries in the Midwest. Testing does remain a weak spot, as the number of tests has trended down and the positive rate remains well above what it should be. Nonetheless, the big picture is that, for the moment, the pandemic is under control.
Turning to the economy, the data continues to be somewhat softer. Improvement in the jobs market remains a relative bright spot, and layoffs have remained much lower than earlier in the pandemic. Still, there are signs of weakness. Consumer confidence has ticked down again, apparently due to worries about the expiration of federal income support programs. This metric is definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Despite those concerns, the stock market has been moving steadily upward and is now at new highs. Does this rise make sense in the current environment? Watch my latest video to learn more.