Key Takeaways

  • Case surges could have the recovery “all shook up”
  • Need “a little less fight a little more spark” in Congress
  • The sectors that have ‘Rock N’ Rolled’ through the pandemic

Tomorrow, the Elvis Week celebration will begin at the Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. Due to COVID-19, the schedule has been adjusted to include both virtual and limited attendance, socially distanced in-person events so that all fans wishing to commemorate the life, legacy, and music of the King of Rock & Roll can feel safe doing so. To borrow lyrics from arguably one of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century, “someone said that the world is a stage and we must each play a part.” While he surely filled the role of entertainer, we hope to fulfill the part of a trustworthy source of investment insights. The pandemic has undoubtedly brought about a number of challenges for investors, but constructing a well-founded economic outlook and identifying opportunities in the midst of this unprecedented time are “always on my mind.” Until we can announce that COVID-19 ‘has left the building,’ our team will strive to do exactly that.

  • It’s Now Or Never For The US Economic Recovery | Surges in COVID-19 cases throughout the Sun Belt and now the Midwest caused investors to question whether the economic recovery progress made thus far would be “all shook up.” While at no point did we believe the rise would translate to a decline back to the severely depressed levels of economic activity experienced during the shutdowns, real-time indicators did suggest that the trajectory of the recovery lost momentum. As key regions were forced to reinstate restrictions and as the public alarm regarding the spread of the virus heightened, improvement in mobility metrics (e.g., airline travel, restaurant bookings), consumer spending oriented trends (e.g., initial claims, Redbook Index), and business livelihood statistics (e.g., small-business hours worked, total temporarily and permanently closed businesses) all appeared to plateau. Due to the nature of the virus, we all must continue to do our part in order to prevent such case spikes as they clearly are capable of delaying the recovery process. Elected officials in areas experiencing a deterioration in COVID-19 trends must act diligently to mitigate the spread, and further intervention by the Federal Reserve and Congress are needed to get the US economy back on the right track. To echo Chairman Powell, “we ought to do what we can” to avoid a prolonged economic downturn.
  • One For The Money, Two For The Show, Three To Get Ready, Now Go Congress Go | Unemployed individuals, small businesses, and state and local governments are all hoping for “a little less fight a little more spark” in the Congressional negotiations regarding the Phase 4 stimulus bill. The broad-based need for additional aid will hopefully bring the debates to a conclusion soon, and provide belated if not retroactive aid during a critical time in the economic recovery process. While the two parties are relatively in agreement on issues such as a second round of stimulus checks, it is evident concessions will need to be made on matters such as the size and duration of the unemployment benefit extension impacting nearly 31 million Americans in order for a deal to be reached. Although stimulus has been widely anticipated for some time, the actual passing of the deal would remove a level of uncertainty from the market and would provide consumers with a level of security in the months ahead.