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The Weekly Economic & Market Recap
June 26, 2020
The performance divergence between the major equity market indexes during the stock market’s recovery has continued. The discrepancy between many indexes is at levels we have not seen in many decades. For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down roughly 10% from the beginning of the year, yet the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite has rallied almost 12%. Large-cap stocks have decisively outperformed small-cap stocks with a performance differential of 10.7% on a year-to-date basis and 12.8% over the last 12 months. The divergence between growth and value has been even more staggering as large-cap growth stocks (Russell 1000 Growth) have outpaced large-cap value (Russell 1000 Value) by more than 24% in 2020. We have highlighted market divergences in the past as they are often reconciled in a market downdraft causing a change in market leadership. Many strategists consider significant market divergences as a warning sign for volatility ahead.
Another type of divergence that we are also becoming concerned with is the disparate impact the recession is having on personal income and savings. Across the major industrialized countries, according to Capital Economics, employment has fallen by over 55 million, and another 35 million have been furloughed. In the U.S. alone more than 20 million workers have already lost their jobs. The pandemic has devastated workers in some industries such as restaurants, travel, leisure, and retail. Workers in other industries have been largely unaffected from an employment and income perspective. Shuttered retail shops and businesses have not allowed those who have retained their jobs to spend their earnings as they ordinarily would. These workers have experienced an involuntary rise in their savings. Because a disproportionate number of people in lower-wage service jobs have been negatively affected by the recession, the underlying problem of income inequality and the growing economic chasm between the wealthy and the middle class will only get worse due to the economic downturn. The structural causes of income and wealth in-equality have been in place for decades, but the issue seems to be coming to ahead and is likely to be a major subject in the November election.
Click below to listen to this week's Peapack Private Wealth Management Market Report as heard on WCBS NewsRadio 880.