The year 2020 has been quite an unusual one. It was a year full of extremes, from wild market swings to record-level government aid, all with many of our lives becoming dramatically interrupted. In light of it all, this year has changed our perspectives on many things by helping us realize things we may have overlooked before and appreciate some things we may have taken for granted in the past. Regardless of the challenges we face in this world, America has proven, yet again, it is resilient and will not let a pandemic or any other obstacle stop us from succeeding.
The year started off seemingly normal. The economy was strong and the markets were at all-time highs after a very strong 2019.
This is the month that everyone will remember as being the last month before practically everything changed. Unemployment was the lowest since the late 1960s and the market continued to make all-time highs—but then the S&P 500 lost 15% in just two weeks and things started to crack.
This is the month not many will forget. The market panicked and lost nearly 30%. Trading was halted at times and some days, the Dow Jones saw losses greater than 1,000 points. The Federal Reserve and Congress stepped in and provided an unparalleled and historic amount of stimulus.
For many, April seemed worse than March. Unemployment spiked to its highest level since the Great Depression and lockdowns were commonplace across the country, leaving many to wonder exactly what lies ahead.
The old saying, “sell in May and go away,” rang well in the ears of some as the future looked uncertain. Despite the current state of the pandemic, the markets improved as businesses slowly began to reopen.
June was a wild month for the markets. The S&P 500 nearly erased the remaining losses from COVID-19, but the rest of the month was spent whipsawing back and forth, losing a quick 8% in a single week.
Despite recording the worst quarterly GDP in U.S. history, a decrease of 31.4% that was better than expected, July still remains the greatest month in our country’s history.
Not only did the S&P 500 achieve new all-time highs, it also captured the quickest market recovery after a recession that took just six months.
A rough month for the market as it experienced a correction of 10%.
The third quarter GDP came in higher than expected with an increase of 33.1%, the largest single increase in U.S. recorded history. This, like the better than anticipated Q2 numbers, showed the resiliency of the U.S. economy and consumer, thus ending the sharpest recession in history.
November experienced endless headlines of the U.S. elections, stimulus negotiations, rising COVID-19 cases, and vaccine news. Despite all that, the markets recorded all-time highs once again with the Dow Jones hitting the milestone of $30,000 for the first time ever.
The final month of the year did not end quietly. Another round of fiscal stimulus was passed, the market continued setting record highs, and vaccine distribution began.
For some, this year has been harder than others but through it all, there have been things we can be thankful for. Though the markets have taken a wild ride, we have kept you fully invested and weathered the storm.
Our Team at 1 North Wealth hopes that you and your family’s New Year brings health, happiness, and continued peace.