The Independent Market Observer

Monthly Market Risk Update: February 2021

February 12, 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 took a breather in January, as month-end volatility led to a mixed month for major equity indices to start the year. This volatility caused the S&P 500 to decline by 1.01 percent during the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.95 percent. The Nasdaq Composite managed to record a 1.44 percent gain. While we have seen markets largely recover to start February, the month-end volatility is a good reminder of the risks markets continue to face.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: February 2021

February 10, 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 Economic Risk Factor Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam!

The economy showed moderate growth in January, despite the lingering headwind of the third wave of the pandemic. There were signs toward month-end that federal stimulus and an improving public health picture started to have a positive impact on the economic recovery, with a return to job growth and increases in business and consumer confidence. Reflecting the improvements, long-term interest rates also began to show signs of normalization.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: January 2021

January 12, 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 Economic Risk Factor Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam!

The economy showed further signs of slowing growth in December, with the third wave of the pandemic causing shutdowns that have hit employment. Job creation turned negative for the first time since April, as rising restrictions at the state and local level put increased stress on the labor market. The underlying data showed some signs for optimism, however, as all of the damage came from the leisure and hospitality sector, while other sectors showed surprising strength. Consumer confidence also fell during the month, but business confidence remained surprisingly resilient.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: December 2020

December 8, 2020

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

The economy continued to show signs of growth in November, but the data weakened as the third wave of the pandemic slowed economic activity. Job growth slowed substantially, and service sector and consumer confidence both declined. Despite the slowdown, however, growth has continued as the economy continues to adapt. While the pandemic is indeed acting as a growing headwind, the recovery continues to be surprisingly resilient.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: November 2020

November 17, 2020

My colleague Sam Millette, senior investment research analyst on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, plays a key role in putting together the Economic and Market Risk Factor Updates. We are now working on updating the format, and you will see some changes this month and in coming months. Thanks for the great work, Sam!

The economy showed continued growth in October; however, the indicators we track in this piece showed varied results. Despite the mixed nature of the reports, the continued signs of economic growth during the month were encouraging, given the uncertainty created by rising coronavirus case counts and the election. The October jobs report was a highlight, as both the number of new jobs added and the unemployment rate came in better than expected. Business and consumer confidence, however, declined slightly during the month, though they still remain well off the lows. Overall, this was a month that showed continued improvement, as well as the ongoing risk the pandemic represents to the recovery as we head into the end of the year.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: October 2020

October 6, 2020

My colleague Sam Millette, senior investment research analyst on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, plays a key role in putting together the Economic and Market Risk Factor Updates. We are now working on updating the format, and you will see some changes this month and in coming months. Thanks for the great work, Sam!

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Economic Risk Factor Update: September 2020

September 9, 2020

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

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