WEEKLY MARKET COMMENTARY

The Markets

U.S. stock markets remained calm as a fresh chapter opened in the coronavirus stimulus saga last week.

Congress managed to cobble together a new stimulus package that was acceptable to both sides and pass it. The proposed package included money to help states distribute vaccines, an unemployment benefits extension, $600 checks for eligible Americans, aid for airlines, and other provisions, reported Mike Calia of CNBC.

“…fiscal support is seen as critical to keep the economic recovery from faltering as coronavirus cases rise and cities consider new shutdowns. Consumer spending has flagged, and labor market gains have begun to stall. While the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits declined last week, it still remains elevated compared with pre-COVID levels,” reported Colby Smith and Eric Platt of Financial Times.

President Trump disagreed with some provisions in the bill, reported Financial Times. Over the weekend, it was unclear whether he would sign it, veto it, or just hold it without taking action.

Since the $900 billion stimulus bill was attached to the $1.4 trillion government funding bill, the impact of a veto or inaction could be quite significant. “Without Trump’s signature, the government may partially shut down on Tuesday as funding runs out, though Congress could pass a stopgap measure,” reported Daren Fonda of Barron’s.

Stock investors appeared optimistic President Trump would sign the bill. News of a Brexit trade deal and a more contagious version of the virus in the United Kingdom had a limited impact on U.S. markets.

All-in-all it was a quiet holiday week and major U.S. indices finished with mixed results. If the stimulus bill is not signed and a stopgap measure is not passed, markets could be volatile next week.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE RISKS.

After a year of living with the fear of COVID-19, many investors are hoping 2021 will bring a return to ‘normal,’ even if the new normal may not be exactly like the old one.

Optimism about the future has many investors feeling bullish, according to most of the sentiment surveys listed in Barron’s last week. Financial Times reported, “Almost universally, fund managers believe the year will bring a rebound in economic activity, supporting assets that have already soared in value since the depths of the pandemic crisis in March, but also lifting sectors that had been left behind. Bond yields are expected to stay low, lending further support to stock valuations.”

This doesn’t mean 2021 will be risk-free. In its December market sentiment survey, Deutsche Bank asked more than 900 market professionals about the biggest risks to global financial markets in 2021. Here are the concerns they highlighted:

38 percent      Virus mutates and vaccines are less effective
36 percent      Vaccine side effects emerge
34 percent      People refuse to take the vaccine
34 percent      Technology bubble bursts
26 percent      Central banks end stimulus too soon
22 percent      Inflation returns earlier than expected

It’s possible none of these will occur and investors will sail smoothly into and through the new year. We hope that’s the case and next year brings with it a return to normal. Just remember, normal doesn’t mean risk-free. In 2021, investors will still need to balance risk and reward on the journey toward their financial goals – just as they do every year.

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Qualities you need to get through medical school and residency: Discipline. Patience. Perseverance. A willingness to forgo sleep. A penchant for sadomasochism. Ability to weather crises of faith and self-confidence. Accept exhaustion as fact of life. Addiction to caffeine a definite plus. Unfailing optimism that the end is in sight.”
–Khaled Hosseini, Novelist

At G&S Capital, we build dynamic portfolios and risk management strategies for each of our clients. Our client projects are led by knowledgeable, dedicated financial planners and supported by the G&S Capital team of specialists to provide personalized portfolios, unparalleled service, and independent advice

Sites & Sources

* These views are those of Carson Group Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative’s
Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Group Coaching. Carson Group Coaching is not affiliated with the named
broker/dealer.
* There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified
portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect
against a loss.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal
and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund
shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S.
government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and
fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject
to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield,
maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the
stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index
performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and
emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S.
Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term
bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set
twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity
futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14,
1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the
Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict
future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted
will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/22/trump-calls-covid-relief-bill-unsuitable-and-demands-congress-add-higher-stimulus-payments.html
https://www.ft.com/content/b0f95a35-5aa6-4a9a-a0f6-ea509e27aca0
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stimulus-bills-fate-remains-in-limbo-the-stock-market-isnt-reacting-so-far-51609005727
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/12/22/948961575/what-we-know-about-the-new-u-k-variant-of-coronavirus-and-what-we-need-to-find-o
https://www.barrons.com/market-data?mod=BOL_TOPNAV
https://www.barrons.com/market-data/market-lab
https://www.ft.com/content/1afc5e9f-f05d-48f5-a126-870ba70ce254
https://twitter.com/DeutscheBank/status/1338539251407917056/photo/1
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/khaled_hosseini_793802