Talking Points of the Week for Financial Advisors (3/16)
March 16th, 2020
Thursday, March 12th's market performance was the worst day in the market since 1987 with the S&P 500 down -9.49%, this followed Wednesday’s downward moves that put the COVID-19 selloff as the fastest bear market on record (defined as a >20% decline). The market viewed the increasing infection numbers and lack of response troubling. However, Friday followed with a declared national emergency and additional measures, which pushed the S&P 500 up 9.29% on Friday.
Late Friday, news hit that there was an agreement between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on a coronavirus response bill that included free testing and paid sick leave for those impacted by the virus. President Trump tweeted his support of the bill for quick passage.
It was a slow week for economic data, with most of the numbers in line with expectations and no major releases. February inflation figures generally came in line with expectations, which put the year over year CPI at 2.3%. With the ongoing COVID-19 worries, inflation is not top of the mind for the Fed right now, and futures market is pricing in a ~68% chance of the Fed cutting the target rate to 0 following the March 18th FOMC meeting.