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If there is one word to describe 2020, it has to be volatility – and the last few trading sessions have underscored this point to a capital “T.” Overall, markets swung wildly as traders continued to digest news from a variety of news fronts. Political battles took center stage as Congress fought over both Justice Ruth Ginsberg’s replacement to the Supreme Court and the latest round of coronavirus stimulus measures. With the upcoming U.S. November presidential election gearing up, both Trump’s and Biden’s campaign efforts stepped up the rhetoric as well.
Elsewhere, economic data continued to be mixed, with several measures in housing, industrial activity and employment trending lower. Fed Chair Jerome Powell echoed the dour economic sentiments in a series of speeches this week mentioning that the economy was not out of the woods just yet.
As far as the latest coronavirus numbers are concerned, new higher rates of infection across the globe – specifically in the U.S. – have reignited worries about potential closures and shutdowns. Coupled with all the uncertainty (both political and economic) this week, traders sold stocks hard throughout most of the sessions.
In the end, markets saw wide swings in either direction as investors tried to find their footing in the troubled economic environment.
Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when stocks followed a similar volatile pattern.