All three major U.S. equity averages capped their first back-to-back monthly loss since the depths of the pandemic sell-off in March. Moreover, the S&P 500 had its worst October second-half performance (-6.10%) since a 10.68% correction in 1987. October angst was caused by fears for a second wave of virus-induced national lockdowns, a breakdown in fiscal stimulus negotiations, and uneven earnings data, especially among mega cap tech stocks. Month-ending COVID-19 daily infections reached a record 99,300 on the last trading day of the month.
- The S&P 500 gave back 6.36% in the past two months, its worst period loss since the 19.57% plunge during February and March.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.52% in October, extending its YTD loss to 5.38%.
- The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 2.26% last month, trimming its YTD gain to 22.50%.
- Among major asset classes since the March 23 bear market low, the S&P 500 has risen 47.7%, the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index gained 5.2%, and the Bloomberg Commodities Index rose 15.9%.
- The U.S. Dollar Index weakened a second month (-0.2%). On a brighter note, a weaker dollar (-2.4% YTD) makes U.S. goods more attractive to foreign buyers.
The Monthly Recap is published by Cetera Investment Management LLC, an SEC registered adviser owned by Cetera Financial Group. Cetera Investment Management provides market perspectives, portfolio guidance, model management, and other investment advice to its affiliated broker-dealers, dually registered broker-dealers and registered investment advisers.
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