A fairly subdued market this week as investors are trying to comprehend all of the new data.
Unemployment numbers for new claims continue to be shockingly high, although they are decreasing at a slow pace. 16 million people are holding their breath waiting for Congress to extend the federal unemployment payments as they haven’t received a check now since the end of July. Most pundits felt the market and economy would take a pretty big hit without these weekly checks for the unemployed, however the market has not responded that way. Once again proving the connection between the stock market and reality has never seen this level of disconnect. Further proving this point, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment Index showed that Americans are feeling uneasy, while the sentiment trader index showed that concerns about a stock market decline has decreased.
The average investor has a lot to digest with the upcoming election and fears of the direction of COVID-19. This is illustrated with the current stock trading volume averaging 25% of normal this week, showing that the average person is sitting on their hands waiting for some more information.
We are doing the same. History tells us that the market performance for August, September, and October will have a great deal to do with the election. With an incredibly high accuracy rate, if the market is up for those three months, the incumbent will be reelected, if the market is negative there will be sweeping change. However, we’ve never had a recession, a pandemic and a general election at the same time.
On a planning note please remember that if you took a required minimum distribution this year and you found yourself spending less money because of the current world situation, Congress has allowed you to give it back to your retirement account and then get a refund for the taxes paid for the calendar year 2020. The rollover must be done no later than 08/31/20, so if you’re interested in doing this please reach out to us immediately.
As always, reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We are always available via email, for a phone meeting, a Zoom video meetings and the occasional face-to-face meeting. Once again this new normal is quite unique.