Overview: Stock markets globally declined last week as the coronavirus continued to dominate the news. Investors searched for direction, as global fiscal and monetary policy now transitions from announcement to implementation. The S&P 500 ended down -2.0% while emerging market stocks (MSCI EM) were down -1.2% and international developed countries (MSCI EAFE) traded down -3.7%. Oil prices surged as prospects of an OPEC+ deal brightened amidst the Saudi Arabia and Russian price war news. After hitting a low of around $20/barrel, WTI oil prices rallied 32%, to finish the week at $28.34/barrel. In economic data, U.S. initial jobless claims set another record, rising to 6.6 million. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% from a record low of 3.5% in February, and non-farm payrolls decreased (by -701,000). It should be noted that the survey period ended on March 12, before much of the U.S. began near-shutdown.
Looking Ahead: Economic highlights this week will be CPI, PPI, consumer sentiment, and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) March meeting minutes. While the outlook for the rest of the year is highly uncertain, investors should remember the disruption will eventually end and the economy will bounce back once the virus is contained. In times like these, a balanced approach to asset allocation is essential for long-term investors, a diversification that can weather this downturn and thrive in the economy that will emerge.
Weekly Returns and Data
Sources: Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JP Morgan Asset Management, Bloomberg
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Indices are unmanaged, represent past performance, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. 1586184297603