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Market Update for the Month Ending May 31, 2020

Markets continue to recover in May

May saw equity markets around the world rise for the second month in a row, as efforts to reopen economies began taking hold. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose by 4.66 percent, and the S&P 500 gained 4.76 percent. The Nasdaq Composite led the way with a 6.89 percent gain.

 

Weekly Market Update, June 1, 2020

General Market News            

  • The 10-year Treasury yield opened at 0.66 percent on Monday, while the 2-year came in at 0.17 percent and the 30-year at 1.43 percent. We are set to get some May economic numbers this week, which should give us a clearer view on where we stand as an economy. The Federal Reserve meets next week, and, while it has done a lot and has essentially asked Congress to step in, it should be interesting to see what members have to say when faced with hard May economic numbers.
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Spread Rates Remain Low as Reopening Continues

Over the past week, we’ve seen more good news in the coronavirus crisis. Perhaps most important, there were no signs of a second wave of infections stemming from the ongoing reopening of the economy and the loosening of social distancing measures in several states. In fact, the data reveals that social distancing had been subsiding in many areas even before the formal loosening. At two weeks or more into the start of this new environment for the spread of the virus, some growth in cases could have been expected. The fact that we have continued to see the spread rates at close to the lowest levels of the pandemic is a real positive.

 

Charitable Giving Incentives Under the CARES Act

With many individuals and families facing catastrophic hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic, charitable giving to those most adversely affected has become increasingly important. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in March, includes tax provisions designed to incentivize individuals and companies to make charitable contributions in 2020. These charitable giving incentives do not require that donations be made to charities assisting in the pandemic.

The Tax Implications of Working from Home

In addition to causing countless hardships, the COVID-19 pandemic has created smaller issues that may be easy to overlook during a crisis. With employees working remotely far more often, for example, one such issue is the complexity of a scattered workforce and its various tax implications.

Weekly Market Update, May 26, 2020

General Market News            

  • The 10-year Treasury yield opened at 0.65 percent on Monday morning before bouncing up to 0.70 percent. The 10-year traded between 0.59 percent and 0.75 percent last week. The 30-year opened at 1.42 percent, and the 2-year opened at 0.18 percent—both higher than where they ended last week. There are some whispers of the Federal Reserve stepping up its bond buying activity to help keep rates lower.

Early Signs Suggest Reopening Going Better Than Expected

In the past week, we had some mixed news on the coronavirus pandemic. Testing continued to rise, although improvement in slowing the spread rate and case growth seemed to stall. Further, the number of active cases started to grow again, a negative sign. Overall, conditions still remain much better than they have been in recent weeks, but we did not see much (if any) additional progress in controlling the virus.

Weekly Market Update, May 18, 2020

General Market News            

  • On Tuesday, May 12, the Treasury issued new 10-year debt, which led yields to drop from 0.70 percent to 0.58 percent before bouncing back to current levels on Friday. The 10-year Treasury yield opened at 0.64 percent on Monday. The 2-year yield opened at 0.14 percent, and the 30-year yield opened at 1.34 percent. The U.S. Treasury is issuing a lot of new debt to help fight the economic effects of COVID 19, but yields remain at or close to historical lows.

Pandemic Slowing, Economy Reopening, and Markets Reassessing

In the past week, we’ve had some good news. To start, there has been continued and even accelerated progress with the pandemic, and it looks like we could be approaching “phase 2.” Plus, the economy has started to reopen, resulting in some positive effects. But the news for the financial markets hasn’t been so good, as they’ve experienced volatility as the prospect of reopening has turned into reality. Let’s take a closer look.

Weekly Market Update, May 11, 2020

​General Market News            

  • The 10-year Treasury yield spiked to 0.74 percent last week before dropping to 0.60 percent on Friday and opening at 0.68 percent on Monday. The 2-year yield opened at 0.15 percent, while the 30-year yield opened at 1.40 percent. April’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), Producer Price Index (PPI), and retail sales will be released this week, giving us a better understanding of the pandemic’s effects on the economy and likely spurring some additional volatility.