In addition to our regular commentary that provides you with an update on the Coronavirus and an economic outlook, we’ve also included your save-the-date for our upcoming Cyber Security online event. There is also a feature on the improvements that are currently being made to RBC Wealth Management Online. Your links to the latest 10-Minute Take podcasts, a Canada Day feature, and our Community Corner are also below.
This week was characterized by a further increase in the global spread of the virus. It weighed on investor sentiment, though to a lesser degree than we would have expected. We believe the response in the U.S. in particular and subsequent impact to the country’s economy will be key determinants in the weeks to come.
The spread of the virus worsened this week and served as a reminder that while some regions have successfully contained it, others are in the thick of the fight. Fortunately, Canada continues to see ongoing improvement. As a result, cities across most provinces within the country moved further along with economic reopening plans. The situation across most of Western Europe is also relatively stable. Russia has seen a levelling off of new daily cases, though the figures remain elevated. And China, which was grappling with a new outbreak in Beijing in recent weeks, has managed to contain the situation for now with a speedy and forceful response. That is the extent of the good news.
Elsewhere, the picture is less reassuring. Brazil and Mexico continue to be hot spots in South and Central America. India too has seen another week of record new daily cases. Some countries throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe are seeing an acceleration in cases, forcing governments to reevaluate their plans. And lastly, Indonesia and the Philippines saw some of their biggest daily increases in months.
The U.S. is where most have intensified their focus. The economy has shown signs of momentum over the past several weeks and there were expectations this would continue, but the virus trends in the country are now firmly heading in the wrong direction and pose more of a risk to the recovery than a few weeks ago. There is some nuance to the data, but, at a high level, the country is averaging more than 35,000 new daily cases, nearly double the daily level it had seen over the past month. Furthermore, the pandemic has become more widespread in contrast to the situation a few months ago when the state of New York was largely responsible for much of the country’s case load.
Some of the U.S. increase is likely a result of higher testing. We have also seen evidence that suggests a higher amount of the newly infected in some states are meaningfully younger. This may help explain why hospital admissions and mortality rates nationally haven’t necessarily followed the new case load meaningfully higher just yet. Nevertheless, it has become increasingly apparent that the spread of the virus is escalating and may need to be addressed.
The U.S. response
Many states had moved to reopen their economies over the past month. We expect some may have to revisit these plans. In fact, Texas already announced that its lifting of restrictions will have to be halted for the time being. Moreover, we expect some will have to consider adopting more organized, coordinated, and intrusive approaches to limit the spread of the virus. Some of the tactics could range from targeted regional restrictions and lockdowns, to increased testing, contact tracing, wearing of protective equipment, social distancing, quarantining, sheltering of vulnerable populations, and others. Each state may employ different combinations of the above, but we suspect few will employ the strict lockdowns that were undertaken in some jurisdictions previously unless it is deemed absolutely necessary.
The prospects of more government intervention will undoubtedly be frustrating to many consumers, businesses, employees, and governments themselves. Parts of the country have already endured forced shutdowns and many were hoping the worst had already passed. Although there may be some resistance to the measures that may have to be taken, we hope that people accept and adhere to the rules, policies, and suggestions until signs of containment emerge.
The economic momentum in the U.S. may be at risk of waning, at least to some extent. This is in-line with our general expectation that the path of recovery was never going to be easy and would be uncertain and uneven. Our long-term investment approach is prepared for this and will not waver regardless of what transpires in the near-term.
Elinesky Schuett Speaker Series
Save-the-Date: Cyber Security and You!
July 23, 2020, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
We are excited to host our second online event in our Elinesky Schuett Speaker Series, featuring two experts from RBC Royal Bank that will be sharing information about how to stay safe online!
Watch your inbox for your invitation and event registration link!
Have an idea for a upcoming event? Please reach out to us if there is a topic that you would like to see included in one of our events. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-822-2024 – We’d love to hear your suggestions!
There are two new 10-Minute Take podcasts available on our website.
Canada’s provinces are turning the corner on their road to recovery
Last week, Saskatchewan, PEI, and Quebec gave updates on their economic and fiscal situation. They weren’t pretty, but there’s been enough of a boost in activity that RBC Economics has adjusted its forecasts. Quebec was the most dramatic example, with the return of 30,000 jobs. Saskatchewan and PEI, meanwhile, also showed how much damage has been done, with declines in government revenues of 8-10%. Robert Hogue, RBC Senior Economist, shares his update on provincial economic recoveries.
Work 2.0: How tech is catalyzing the “remote first” workplace
Practically overnight, legions of office workers shifted to working from home as their employers figure out how to keep them productive. That meant installing (or improving) video conferencing tools, messaging apps and the like – keys to an effective distributed workforce. Now, employers are going a step further to reimagine the first principles of work – from location dependent to location agnostic. Welcome to Work 2.0. What will this mean for employees? And how are software firms capitalizing on this opportunity? Alex Zukin, Software Equity Analyst at RBC Capital Markets, shares how the workplace is transforming.
You can listen to these 10-Minute Take podcasts online now: The 10-Minute Take.
We’re committed to making the new RBC Wealth Management Online better for you
We recently launched our new website, RBC Wealth Management Online, so you can safely access your account information, send us secure messages, view your important account documents, and more.
But we’re not done yet. We’re committed to continually improving the website, and listening to your feedback to make it better for you.
We’ve already started making changes based on your feedback. You should notice that your Holdings page now loads faster – and it’s easier to find the information you’re looking for. You can now access your Holdings information from the left-hand navigation menu, instead of tabbing between sections on the Holdings page.
From the left-hand menu, select:
- “Account Holdings” to see your individual holdings (1)
- “Overview” to check your balances, asset mix and product types (2)
- “Currency” to view your holdings in Canadian or U.S. dollars (3)
- “Asset mix” to see your overall asset mix between equities, fixed income, cash and other asset types (4)
Here are some other things we’re working on!
- Making Watchlists easier to use
- Improving the Print Page design so you can view the information more easily
- Ensuring that the values on RBC Online Banking and RBC Wealth Management align
- Addressing the scenario where some clients are unable to access their Documents
- Adding the “$ Change” column to your Intraday Holdings page by default
- Showing Intraday holdings by default when viewing the Holdings page
- Introducing multi-currency display on your Homepage
Happy Canada Day!
Our office will be closed on Canada Day, Wednesday, July 1. We will be back answering your phone calls and emails on Thursday, July 2. Happy Canada Day!
Although we can’t gather as a community to celebrate Canada Day this year, there are a number of online Canada Day celebrations taking place! Here are a few links to some of the online events:
- Government of Canada: National virtual Canada Day celebrations
- Centre Wellington hosting virtual Canada Day celebration
- Town of Milton: A Virtual Celebration Canada Day 2020
Each week, we like to end our blog posts with a few good news stories from in and around the community. We hope that they brighten your day!
- Neighbourhood gets together to help Guelph Food Bank
- Eden Mills Writers’ Festival announces full schedule of online events this year
- Gallery: Local high schools hold drive-in graduation events (15 photos)
- Relay at Home raises $4.3 million for Canadian Cancer Society
As always, we are available to connect with you personally. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 519-822-2024 or email@example.com.