One thing we’re sure of: the stock markets will heal before the economy.
They always do. Because they’re pricing what the economy will look
like six months down the road, not what it looks like now.
The first quarter of 2020 is one we’ll all remember—with a shudder. As the global scope of the pandemic began to register along with the extremity of the measures required to fight it, stock markets around the world crashed. First in China, then Italy, then Spain and finally in the US. From the S&P 500’s peak on February 19 to the low it made for the quarter on March 23, the index fell 34%. That’s the fastest decline of that magnitude on record.
As the market had been rising through most of February, the sharp decline in March left the S&P 500 with a negative return for the full quarter of 20%. Arjuna’s Core Equity strategy showed a negative return of 17% while Arjuna’s 350 Equity strategy had a negative return of 16%. We’d like to underline how extremely well our two domestic equity strategies held up during what was one of the fastest declines in stock market history.
Why did they do so well? This will take some explaining but it will also illuminate what’s been driving the markets.
Click here to read the full market outlook.