Weekly Market Commentary

A weekly market review for the week ending July 24, 2020

Stocks

The S&P 500 was within 3% of its all-time high last Thursday before losing steam to end the week. Technology stocks, which performed well so far this year, struggled compared to the broad market. Mid-cap and value stocks also had a strong performance after struggling for most of the year. Positive news surrounding a vaccine for COVID-19 also hit the market last week with companies like AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna all reporting substantial progress. With unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of July, policymakers are expected to pass a stimulus bill addressing that issue. It was reported that some GOP lawmakers believe the current unemployment benefits do not encourage people to work, while others argue a decrease would dramatically affect consumer spending. Year-to-date, the NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500 have returned 15.50% and -0.47%, respectively.

Bonds

The municipal bond market continued to see positive inflows. While returns were positive last week, municipal bonds slightly trailed treasuries. The positive inflows to municipal bond funds can be attributed in part to the large amount of stimulus being pumped into the economy. The positive talks surrounding a potential COVID-19 vaccine seemed to boost investor sentiment, leading to strong performance in the investment-grade bond market. As a result of the improved sentiment, credit spreads drifted wider. The high-yield bond market outperformed last week, seeing a record single-day inflow in over a month. Year-to-date, U.S. Treasuries and U.S. Investment Grade Corporate bonds returned 9.58% and 8.20%, respectively.

Index Performance Ending July 24, 2020

Index Performance Ending July 24th, 2020

This material has been prepared by Investment Consulting Services and is not to be relied on as a forecast, research, or investment advice.  The material is intended for informational purposes only.  The opinions expressed are as of July 29th, 2020 and are not guaranteed to be accurate.  No warranty of accuracy or reliability is given and no responsibility for errors and omissions is accepted by Investment Consulting Services, LLC., its officers, or its employees.  Data has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness cannot be assured and is subject to change without notice.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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