Weekly Expert Market Perspectives Park Avenue Securities PAS

Market Stays Bullish in February

It was another record-setting week, as the market remained undeterred by the coronavirus and stayed on its bullish trend. The Nasdaq Composite (+2.2%) and Russell 2000 (+1.9%) set the pace, followed by the S&P 500 (+1.6%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.0%).

Most of this week's gains came on Monday as investors continued to pile into shares of mega-cap technology companies. Reports that highlighted the slowing rate of the coronavirus solidified the gains, and the market barely reacted to follow-up reports indicating a spike in new cases.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors finished with gains, including four that rose at least 2.0% -- real estate (+4.8%), consumer discretionary (+2.6%), utilities (+2.4%), and information technology (+2.3%). The energy sector (+0.3%) underperformed despite a 3.1% bounce in WTI crude ($51.93/bbl, +1.58). 

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index regained momentum, rising 5.0% this week amid positive analyst recommendations and encouraging results and guidance from NVIDIA (NVDA). Shares of NVIDIA climbed 15% this week.

It's fair to say that the virus remains a risk, at least based on the rising number of cases and cautious commentary provided by U.S. companies. The market, though, remains assured that it will eventually die down and that dovish monetary policy will continue to support equities. Fed Chair Powell for his part said the Fed is "closely monitoring" the situation in his semiannual testimony before Congress. 

There was still a defensive tone, though, evidenced by the gains in the real estate and utilities sectors. U.S. Treasuries finished the week little changed from the prior week. The 2-yr yield increased three basis points to 1.42%, while the 10-yr yield remained unchanged at 1.58%. The U.S. Dollar Index advanced 0.4% to 99.12. 

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Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index. Diversification does not guarantee investment returns and does not eliminate the risk of loss.

Data and rates used were indicative of market conditions as of the date shown and compiled by Briefing.com. Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a solicitation, offer, or recommendation to purchase or sell a security. S&P 500 Index is a market index generally considered representative of the stock market as a whole. The index focuses on the large-cap segment of the U.S. equities market. Each company’s security affects the index in proportion to its market value. NASDAQ Composite Index is a market value-weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock market. Dow Jones Industrial Average is a widely used indicator of the overall condition of the stock market, a price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue chip stocks, primarily industrials, but also includes financial, leisure and other service-oriented firms. Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the smallest 2,000 companies in the Russell 3000 Index of the 3,000 largest U.S. companies in terms of market capitalization. MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets.

Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian). PAS is a registered broker/dealer offering competitive investment products, as well as a registered investment advisor offering financial planning and investment advisory services. PAS is a member of FINRA and SIPC.

2020-94993 (Exp 5/20)

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