July Investment Bulletin

Bill Norris
July 09, 2020

Stay current on what’s happening in the economy to help you better understand how the financial news relates to your investments.

June key drivers

  • In spite of recent evidence of a surge in new COVID-19 cases across various states, equity markets were mostly higher in June. The S&P 500 gained 1.9%, while the Russell 3000 Growth Index was up over 4%. Non-U.S. equity markets posted strong results with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index gaining more than 7% in June.
  • Evidence of increased economic activity emerged across the country in June. Most states that had some form of a lockdown in April and May began to implement phased approaches to re-opening their economies, but some states are moving slower than others.
  • Economic data released in June was mixed. Nonfarm payroll gains in May were stronger than expected, while weekly jobless claims began trending lower. However, consumer sentiment was softer as a large number of impacted workers were still on unemployment, and small business sentiment also remained depressed as businesses struggled to regain 100% operations.
  • Europe emerged from strong lockdowns with Germany, Italy and France beginning to lift restrictions on activity.

What to watch in July

  • The primary focus for markets will remain on COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. Can we have a sustained opening of our economy or will the resurgence of the virus in southern states require another stoppage? This remains to be seen, but markets will be very sensitive to any negative news.
  • Congress reconvenes after the July 4 holiday and will focus on another round of fiscal stimulus to help support the economy and focus on the unemployment benefits that expire at the end of July. With the August recess looming, law makers are anxious to approve another round of fiscal stimulus to help their chances in November.
  • The June report on nonfarm payroll activity showed solid gains of 4.8 million jobs, well ahead of the forecast, and the unemployment rate dropped to 11%. Investors are becoming more optimistic, but will be watching closely for any signs of a stall in the re-opening of the U.S. economy.
  • Q2 earnings season kicks off and will provide even more evidence of how damaging the shutdown has been to operations for U.S. companies. Guidance is still very sparse, but with the economic data pointing to the beginning of a recovery, the outlook for earnings may improve

Global asset class total returns through 06.30.2020

Global asset class total returns through 06.30.2020


Bill Norris is chief investment officer and head of asset management for CIBC Bank USA. In this role, he oversees investment management, trust and estate services to individual and institutional clients of CIBC Bank USA. Bill also serves as a member of CIBC Private Wealth Management’s Asset Allocation Committee with more than 35 years of industry experience.


CIBC Private Wealth Management includes CIBC National Trust Company (a limited-purpose national trust company), CIBC Delaware Trust Company (a Delaware limited-purpose trust company), CIBC Private Wealth Advisors, Inc. (a registered investment adviser)—all of which are wholly owned subsidiaries of CIBC Private Wealth Group, LLC—and the private wealth division of CIBC Bank USA. All of these entities are wholly owned subsidiaries of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

This document is intended for informational purposes only, and the material presented should not be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any security. Concepts expressed are current as of the date of this document only and may change without notice. Such concepts are the opinions of our investment professionals, many of whom are Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) charterholders or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S.

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