Month in Brief
Stock prices powered higher and emboldened investors in November thanks to a series of positive news events.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has lagged much of the year, led the rally, jumping 11.84 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index tacked on 10.75 percent while the Nasdaq Composite rose 11.80 percent.1
All Eyes on the Election
Stocks opened the month strong, climbing throughout election week as bargain-hunting investors appeared to swoop in following a weak September and October.
While the immediate outcome of the presidential election was undecided, the projected results suggested a divided Congress, which investors interpreted as a productive environment for businesses.
Stocks climbed higher on news of positive stage-three COVID-19 trial results that suggested a highly effective vaccine may be near at hand. Stocks that had been hurt by economic lockdowns surged on the news, while the stay-at-home stocks suffered steep declines. Bond yields and oil prices both moved higher on expectations of increased economic activity.
Positive momentum carried the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 index, and the Russell 2000 to record-high levels, with the Dow closing above the 30,000 mark.2
Companies Report Solid Quarter
While the U.S. election and progress on a coronavirus vaccine dominated the news cycle, companies in the S&P 500 reported solid earnings in the third quarter. As expected, the S&P 500 reported a year-over-year earnings of -6.3 percent. But when three hard-hit industries—energy, airlines, and hospitality—were excluded, earnings for S&P 500 companies grew by 4.3 percent.3
All industry sectors moved higher in November, except Utilities, which fell 1.42 percent. The month saw strong gains in Communication Services (+7.34 percent), Consumer Discretionary (+5.49 percent), Consumer Staples (+3.95 percent), Energy (+34.54 percent), Financials (+17.50 percent), Health Care (+3.35 percent), Industrials (+14.74 percent), Materials (+12.50 percent), Real Estate (+5.96 percent), and Technology (+5.33 percent).4
What Investors May Be Talking About in December
After such a powerful rally, investors may be asking themselves, “What’s next for stock prices?”
Traders are expected to watch the trajectory of new COVID-19 infections and how they may influence economic activity over the coming weeks and months.
While investors recognize that there will be manufacturing and distribution challenges with approved vaccines, they may also be paying attention to when a vaccine may be available to the general public.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional
1. The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2020
2. CNBC.com, November 23, 2020
3. FactSet Research, November 20, 2020
4. FactSet Research, November 30, 2020