June Investment Bulletin

Bill Norris
June 04, 2020

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

May Key Drivers

  • With signs that the spread of COVID-19 is starting to slow and some promising results towards a vaccine beginning to emerge, global risk assets rallied in May with equities posting solid gains. For the month, the S&P 500 gained nearly 5%, while MSCI ACWI gained approximately 4%. Interest rates were lower in the month, and high yield as measured by the Barclays Corporate High Yield Index rose more than 4%.
  • It became apparent during the month that economic recovery from the sudden shock of the shutdown had begun. Although economic data is still depressed in the U.S., there are some signs of improvement. ISM Manufacturing data rose slightly from April and continuing unemployment claims declined by over 3.9 million as overall consumer confidence stabilized—partially reflecting the government’s quick response through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the belief that layoffs impacting a large swath of the labor force would be temporary.
  • The Federal Reserve (Fed) continued with their “all in” messaging with Chairman Powell reiterating that the Fed was prepared to do more to ensure that the economic impact from the self-imposed shutdown will be minimized.

What to Watch in June

  • The primary focus for investors in June will remain on COVID-19 spread data and whether or not the reopening of the global economy continues to move forward. Economic activity in the U.S., Europe and China is showing slow improvement, but it is still very early in the process.
  • Various states have begun to implement different forms of restarting their economies; some moving faster than others. Key issues to look for will be improved confidence of consumers and businesses in order to boost output, and also efforts to get impacted workers back to work. June will be a good month to see if the trends that began in May can be sustained and increased, allowing recovery to gain traction.
  • U.S.-China relations have taken a major step back. Washington has sought to place blame on China’s slow action to contain the Wuhan outbreak. As of now, the U.S.-China trade deal established late last year is still in force, but there is growing evidence that China is beginning to pull back from commitments made in the deal. This will only result in further actions out of Washington.
  • Congress will begin to address the next round of a coronavirus relief package. The House passed a $3 trillion plan in May, and the Senate will begin deliberations in June.

 

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.

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