Weekly Investment Update

On Sunday, President Trump signed into law an agreement for a long-awaited stimulus bill aimed at mitigating the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, the President requested a vote in Congress to increase the direct payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000.  As of this writing, it is unclear whether there is enough support to pass the increased amount[1]

The new bill is roughly half the size of the $2 trillion CARES Act signed in March, though still one of the largest in US history.  While the direct payments and enhanced unemployment benefits are less (at least currently) than what was originally included in the CARES Act, the S&P 500 opened higher on Monday as investors applauded a bill finally being passed.

In addition to the positive news from Washington, the biggest vaccine campaign in history is well underway.  Nearly 2 million vaccines have been administered in the US already, nearly half of the 4.4 million vaccines that have been given globally.  While the US is off to a quick start, delivering billions of shots globally remains a formidable logistical challenge[2].

United states map depicting the amount of COVID-19 vaccines administered in each state

 

Key Economic Releases This Week

Day Report Period Consensus Est. Previous
Tuesday, Dec. 29 S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Idx (annual rate) October 7.0%
Wed., Dec. 30 Pending Home Sales (monthly rate) November -1.1%
Wed., Dec. 30 Wholesale Inventories (monthly rate) November 0.6% 1.1%
Thursday, Dec. 31 Initial Jobless Claims Week of 12/26/20 828,000 803,000
Thursday, Dec. 31 Continuing Jobless Claims Week of 12/19/20 5.39 million 5.34 million

Source: Bloomberg

Asset Class Returns

Category Representative Index YTD 2020 Full Year 2019
Global Equity MSCI All-Country 14.6% 26.6%
US Large Cap Equity  S&P 500  16.7% 31.5%
US Small Cap Equity  Russell 2000 21.7% 25.5%
Foreign Developed Equity MSCI EAFE 6.3% 22.0%
Emerging Market Equity MSCI Emerging Markets 14.9% 18.4%
US High Yield Fixed Income ICE BofAML High Yield 5.6% 14.4%
US Fixed Income Barclays Aggregate Bond 7.3% 8.7%
Cash Equivalents ICE BofAML 0-3 Mo Deposit 0.5% 2.2%

Source: Morningstar
As of December 24, 2020

Prices & Interest Rates

Representative Index Current Year-End 2019
S&P 500 3,703 3,231
Dow Jones Industrial Avg. 30,200 28,538
NASDAQ 12,805 8,973
Crude Oil (US WTI) $48.12 $61.21
Gold $1,875 $1,520
US Dollar 90.32 96.39
2 Year Treasury 0.13% 1.58%
10 Year Treasury 0.94% 1.92% 
30 Year Treasury 1.66% 2.39%

Source: Bloomberg, US Treasury 
As of December 24, 2020

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