- Equities have rallied impressively over the past month, increasing 30% from the March 23rd lows. April was the best monthly return for the S&P 500 in 33 years, after March gave investors the worst monthly return since October 2008.
- Some of the more speculative areas of the market performed well in April. Energy and Natural Resource equities benefitted with the recent market bounce, despite the big crash in oil prices –– futures contracts dipped negative at one point as fears of limited storage capacity rattled markets.
- Investors have become somewhat immune to the negative economic headlines thanks to the efforts of major central banks around the world.
- Led by the U.S. Federal Reserve, aggressive monetary policy actions have helped to settle volatility and support the recent rally. The attention of markets now appears to be focused on the development of therapies and vaccines.
- Optimism has begun to increase in the hope that a return to some level of normalcy is not too far off. Some of the worst-hit countries and U.S. states are slowly taking their first steps towards re-opening as restrictions are reduced. We will be watching closely to see if there is a resurgence in new cases, or if we have moved beyond the worst of the outbreak.
Please see important disclosures in the PDF version of this article.