As states ease their COVID-19 lockdown measures, rising case numbers have put pressure on equity markets.
After three months of month-to-month gains, the rapid rebound following the S&P 500’s March 23 low slowed in June with the index closing the month only slightly above its opening value.
“The equity market had moved into positive territory year-to-date in the middle of the month on the back of improving economic data and further easing of lockdown measures,” Chief Investment Officer Larry Adam said, “but a sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases – including the largest daily increase on record – weighed on the equity market.”
That pressure will likely continue, as some states have halted their plans to reopen in light of the surge in cases, bringing into question “the timing of the eventual return to normality and the trajectory for future economic growth,” Adam added.
Technology stocks, however, have continued to outperform the rest of the market, said Joey Madere, senior portfolio analyst, Equity Portfolio & Technical Strategy, masking the pressure many other stocks are facing.
Fiscal and monetary policy continues to be supportive of the markets.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he does not expect the central bank will raise rates in the foreseeable future. This will continue to keep sovereign bond yields contained, and the Federal Reserve’s purchasing of individual corporate bonds has driven the rates on investment-grade debt yields to near historic lows.