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Virtus Viewpoints - Q2 Newfleet Multi-Sector

Value in Spread Sectors

The second quarter of 2020 witnessed an unprecedented global monetary and fiscal policy response to combat the most severe economic disruption since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers responded forcefully with a series of maneuvers to restore function to financial markets and shield citizens from serious hardship as a result of the abrupt stop in economic activity. Programs were designed to support the newly unemployed, businesses of all sizes, states and municipalities, and several areas of the securitization markets. The ultimate human and economic toll is not yet known. However, our expectation remains that policymakers will fine-tune their response as warranted.

Stay-at-home orders and mandated business closings proved unambiguously damaging for local, regional, and global economic growth during the quarter; near-term corporate earnings results are likely to be negative. We are optimistic, however, that the trough in economic activity and corporate earnings will occur in the second quarter with a rebound in the second half of the year and into 2021. Progress has been made in restarting parts of the economy around the country and activity is rebounding, though a second disruptive shutdown remains a concern. Financial markets have reacted positively to the monetary and fiscal policy response, rebound in economic activity, and attractive valuations by moving aggressively higher during the period. We believe elevated cash levels and a high degree of personal savings will be a tailwind to growth in the coming quarters as everyone adjusts to a near-term new normal.

z - Cover Image: Newfleet Market Review & Outlook

Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index measures the U.S. investment grade fixed rate bond market. Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index is a market capitalization weighted index that measures the long-term tax-exempt bond market. J.P. Morgan GBI-EMGD tracks total returns for local currency debt instruments issued by emerging markets sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities to which international investors can gain exposure. J.P. Morgan CEMBI Index tracks U.S. dollar-denominated debt issued by emerging market corporations. J.P. Morgan EMBI Global Index tracks the total return for the U.S. dollar-denominated emerging markets debt, including Brady bonds, Eurobonds and loans. The Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan Index is a market-weighted index that tracks the investable universe of the U.S. dollar denominated leveraged loans. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. High-Yield 2% Issuer Capped Bond Index is a market capitalization-weighted index that measures fixed rate non-investment grade debt securities of U.S. and non-U.S. corporations. No single issuer accounts for more than 2% of market cap. The indexes are calculated on a total return basis. The indexes are unmanaged, returns do not reflect any fees, expenses, or sales charges, and are not available for direct investment.

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.

All investments carry a certain degree of risk, including possible loss of principal.

Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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