The 2020 Election appears to be behind us as Joe Biden is projected to be elected as the 46th President of the United States. As of today, Congress is divided as the Republicans hold the Senate (pending the Georgia runoff results) and the Democrats have the majority in the House of Representatives. Historically, according to Capital Group Strategas, markets have performed best under a split Congress as it provides a balance of power as shown in the below chart.
COVID cases are averaging well over 140,000 per day and hospitalizations are at new record highs. As experts have warned, with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s headed our way, the next 60 to 90 days could be rough. There does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel as the recent Pfizer and Moderna vaccine efficacy numbers are encouraging as we wrap up 2020 and place this year behind us.
The economic data continues to strengthen with jobless claims slowly declining along with the unemployment rate. Consumer confidence is rising as companies replenish inventories with retailers gearing up for the holiday season. The housing market remains on fire with home prices rising due to lack of inventory and record low mortgage rates. Finally, Q3 corporate earnings have mostly exceeded expectations and a multitude of companies report positive guidance for Q4 and 2021. The economic data is improving but there is still much work left before we return to pre-COVID levels.
Where Do We Go From Here?
October was an up and down month as volatility spiked due to the virus and election. The Coronavirus is still top of mind for all. A safe and effective vaccine(s) is fantastic news and it has given the markets, particularly the beaten down value stocks, a new lease on life.
It’s evident that more stimulus is necessary to bridge the gap until the vaccine is widely available to all Americans. Congress appears to be willing to restart negotiations on a stimulus package critical to State budgets, unemployed individuals, and small businesses that are forced to scale back due the virus’ effect.
The country needs healing and unification after a combative election and stressful 2020. There are strong opinions on both sides of the political spectrum, but the time to work together so we can flourish as a nation again is now.
We believe the economy will recover in 2021 as another fiscal stimulus package will be passed and COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be widely available. Hopefully, we can move forward from this year’s wounds and look forward to an extraordinary bright future.
Stay tuned and stay safe!
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