The recent stock rally took a pause last week as rising COVID-19 infections and slow progress on an economic relief bill loomed over markets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.57%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 0.96%. The Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.69% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, declined 0.05%.1,2,3
Last Week: Stimulus Stalls, Stocks Stumble
The market grappled all week with worries over rising COVID-19 cases and the economic restrictions that followed. Nevertheless, there were moments of optimism— such as the starting of vaccinations in the U.K.— that drove markets to record highs.4
But gains could not be sustained as an agreement on a fiscal stimulus bill remained elusive and daily news regarding COVID-19 cases undermined investor sentiment.
Markets were also challenged by having to absorb a number of new and secondary stock offerings last week, including two high-profile technology IPOs. The Energy sector continued its strong run, while small and mid-cap stocks posted another week of positive performance.5
This Week: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Begins
The first dose of Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech’s (BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine were administered to Americans on Monday, after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for American's age 16 and older late Friday evening.6
As distribution efforts for the vaccine reach full steam, investors are cautiously optimistic that a return to normal could be on the horizon. The markets have rallied on vaccine progress since early November and it seems plausible that as inoculation begins in the US the recent rally could be supported into 2021. Although there is great reason to be hopeful following these recent developments, we still believe investors should observe caution and remain disciplined within their portfolios as uncertainties around the virus still persist.
Source: Yahoo Finance, December 14, 2020
Key Economic Data
Tuesday: Industrial Production.
Source: Econoday, December 11, 2020
Companies Reporting Earnings
Thursday: General Mills (GIS)
Friday: Darden Restaurants (DRI)
Source: Zacks, December 11, 2020
Year-End Tax Tips
2020 is almost over, which means it’s time to start wrapping up those taxes for the year! There are lots of things to do to prepare for 2021. Here are some year-end tax tips to consider:
The end of the year is the perfect time to talk with your tax professional on how to position yourself for 2021.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from Turbo Tax7
Ways to Give Back This Season
The holiday season is a time to give back to our community. There are many service opportunities available, whether you seek out ones in your community or give back on your own. Here are some ideas:
Tip adapted from US News and World Report8
Footnotes and Sources
2. The Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2020
3. The Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2020
4. USAToday.com, December 8, 2020
5. CNBC.com, December 10, 2020
6. Yahoo Finance, December 14, 2020
7. Turbotax.intuit.com, December 11, 2020
8. Money.usnews.com, December 11, 2020
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Week In Review: Stock Rally Takes Pause As COVID-19 Cases Surge
December 14, 2020