Essentially treading water for the first half of the quarter, markets found their footing and finished positive across every major asset class. Continued vaccination success, massive amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus, solid economic activity, and earnings acceleration all contributed to the investor optimism that witnessed the S&P 500 deliver positive quarterly results for the fifth consecutive quarter, which is the longest consecutive streak since the nine-quarter stretch that ended in 2017.
This time last year, we were all forced to make drastic changes to our everyday lives — working from home, acting as educators to our children and grandchildren, and settling in for the unknown long-term. Fortunately, there is finally optimism and a shred of pre-pandemic normalcy.
The year 2020 will forever be marked as the year of COVID-19; a virus that saw more than 20 million infected and took more than 300,000 American lives; more than 1.5 million around the globe; a pandemic that forced the entire world to shut down. This virus is still impacting our lives and infecting more than 200,000 every day. Recent vaccine developments finally offer some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and reasons for optimism.