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Second Quarter 2020 Market Report

Glass Half Full

Unprecedented is a word that investors have heard a lot this year. First, it described the on set of the COVID-19 crisis and the shutdown of the global economy. Next, it described the size and scope of government stimulus efforts. Then, it applied to the market rally following the March 23rd low, with stocks posting the biggest fifty-day gain in history. Today, unprecedented might describe the level of uncertainty that investors feel in the face of developments never seen before.

Despite the uncertainty, we maintain a “glass half full” view of the markets. It is easy to view the outlook as being “glass half empty” given the many challenges today, including high unemployment, political turmoil, and a possible second wave of the virus. However, there are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic, starting with the fact that the COVID crisis, like other pandemics before it through the centuries, is ultimately a temporary situation.

Other reasons include promising developments with vaccines and therapeutics, record amounts of economic stimulus, and perhaps above all, the ability of individuals and businesses to adapt to change and overcome challenges. The unprecedented mobilization of Americans to work from home is one important example.

It may sound like a bold claim, but the COVID recession is likely already over (the definition of a recession being a decline ineconomic activity). That does not mean economic activity has returned to normal levels, far from it. It will be a long, rocky road to recovery, at least until the commercialization of a vaccine. But the economy likely bottomed in April or May, and it is the direction of economic activity–not the level–that matters most for markets.

In this quarter’s report, we address the most common questions from clients about today’s investing environment, and in doing so give reasons for our glass half full outlook.

To download the full report, click here.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance does not predict future results. This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.
Hefren-Tillotson Inc. is a leading diversified financial services firm providing investment and retirement plan management and comprehensive, financial planning through MASTERPLAN® for individuals and businesses. The firm’s wealth management services are administered by Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holders, attorneys, Chartered Life Underwriters, and CPA/PFS’s. Hefren-Tillotson offers corporate services including 401(k) retirement planning, executive financial counseling, fiduciary reviews and workplace financial planning seminars. Founded in 1948, the firm is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has offices located in Pittsburgh, Butler, Greensburg, North Hills, and South Hills. MEMBER SIPC.