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July Commentary

What happened:

July was another strong month for the equity market, extending this historic recovery from March lows.  Technology continued to be the driving force, with the NASDAQ reaching new all-time highs, and the S&P 500 breaking out of the red for 2020.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered, but remained down over 8% YTD, given it is mostly tech-free.  

With the broad market soaring, one would think COVID-19 is a thing of the past. However, COVID is still affecting us daily on many levels and will likely be doing so for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the significant stimulus of an extra $600 weekly added as part of unemployment benefits ended this month. This growing disconnect between the stock market and the real economy led many to believe a market reversal was not a matter of if, but when. 

What we did:

We held steady with most of our equity positions, overweighted in U.S. with continued exposure to Asian markets, which contributed to July’s performance.  

The holdings in the Core Equity model with the most substantial changes were in the conservative sleeve, as we cycled out of TOTL into BND and GOVT. With the sale of VGK we removed the last of our direct exposure to Europe. 

What we are watching:

The S&P 500 has broken through the 3,200 handle-mark which had previously shown resistance on the technical side, and may now continue to bleed up heading toward the US presidential election.

We are continuing to closely monitor the reopening of businesses and increase in COVID-19 cases which now seem to have little effect on this unprecedented recovery. 

We remain poised to react quickly if the market does in fact correct again, while remaining consistent with the science in our Core Equity model.