One thing perhaps we can all agree upon as 2020 comes to a close is that not many of us will miss it in any way, shape or form. Financial markets are already looking beyond the coronavirus and the outlook for 2021 is encouraging.
If someone told you back in spring during the initial stages of the pandemic and massive business shutdowns that we would likely finish with potential double-digit stock market gains, you might have labeled that person as not in touch with reality. Yet here we are. While the coronavirus will continue to dominate global economic news and political friction may be in force, we still expect the economy and equity markets to continue their rebound, propelled by positive news regarding the promising vaccines on the way.
The United States was already out of a recession by June (estimated) that began in February as the employment picture improved from May through October and the stock market recovered in a remarkable “V”-shaped fashion. While this was the deepest recession this country has experienced from peak to trough since World War II, it is also likely been the shortest.
We have entitled this year-end Outlook issue, “Bridging to the vaccine.”