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Weekly Market Update 7/31/2020

By July 31, 2020 No Comments

Fifth Coronavirus Relief Package Stalled

Very few signs of progress between the White House and congressional Democrats on new legislation to bridge the looming expirations of unemployment benefits and eviction moratoriums.  An interim deal has been floated, but support from either side has been tepid.  The market has taken the increased brinksmanship in stride, however, as the S&P 500 rose over 1.7% for the week.

Q2 GDP Falls the Most in US History

Second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was released on Thursday and indicated an eye-popping -32.9% contraction, as the economic impact of coronavirus and the nation’s urgent efforts to flatten the infection curve became brutally apparent.  The economic pain this figure reflects cannot be understated, but the market is mostly treating Q2 as a throw-away quarter and the S&P 500, while opening Thursday’s market session sharply lower, steadily climbed to close only slightly lower for the day.

A Nod to History

On multiple days this week, General Electric and Eastman Kodak were the two most active stocks by share volume on the New York Stock Exchange.  In and of itself, General Electric trading at such high volumes wouldn’t be noteworthy, but the 131-year old Eastman Kodak had been largely left for dead before announcing a shocking pivot towards manufacturing ingredients for generic drugs on Tuesday.  One would likely have to go back to the 1970s, when both companies were part of the blue chip “Nifty Fifty”, or even as far back as the 1930s, when they were two of the thirty Dow Jones Industrial Average companies, to find GE and Kodak on top of the NYSE’s most active list.  Oh, the good ole days!

Regards,

Ian Browning, CFA Director, Investment Strategies & Shareholder


Peter E. Simmons, JD | President & CEO

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