COVID-19 Impact: Uncertainty High in the Short Term
First of all, we hope you and your families and loved ones are safe and healthy. During these unprecedented times, everyone’s health and well-being is of utmost importance and we send our well wishes to everyone.
Equities entered a bear market this quarter triggered by a health crisis which necessitated almost a complete shutdown of economic activity. Large-cap stocks, as measured by the S&P 500® Index, declined 19.60% for the quarter, and small-capitalization stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000® Index, declined even more at 30.61%. Global recession fears drove international stocks down 22.83% (MSCI EAFE® Index), and emerging markets down 23.60% (MSCI Emerging Markets Index). The U.S. dollar strengthened against most currencies during the quarter as investors sought safety. The energy sector was hit particularly hard as Russia and Saudi Arabia could not agree on output restrictions in an environment of declining demand.
The S&P 500® Index is a market capitalization weighted index which includes 500 of the largest companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. Small-capitalization stocks are represented by the Russell 2000® Index which is a market capitalization-weighted index of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell Universe, which comprises the 3,000 largest U.S. companies. Developed international markets are represented by the MSCI® EAFE Index which is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that measures developed foreign market equity performance, excluding the U.S. and Canada. Emerging markets are represented by the MSCI® Emerging Markets (EM) Index which is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index tracking the equity performance of global emerging markets. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a market value weighted index that tracks the daily price, coupon, pay downs and total return performance of fixed-rate, publicly placed, dollar-denominated and non-convertible investment grade debt issues with at least $250 million par amount outstanding with at least one year to final maturity. Performance is calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested. The ICE BofAML US High Yield Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated below-investment-grade corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Municipal Index covers the USD-denominated long-term tax exempt bond market. The index has four main sectors: state and local general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, insured bonds and prefunded bonds. The J.P. Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Global (EMBI Global) includes U.S.-dollar-denominated Brady bonds, Eurobonds, traded loans, and local market debt instruments issued by sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities.
The commentary is the opinion of the subadviser. This material has been prepared using sources of information generally believed to be reliable; however, its accuracy is not guaranteed. Opinions represented are subject to change and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of securities.
Past performance is not indicative of future results.