In this week’s post, our regular commentary features an update on the coronavirus and insight into government programs in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. We’ve also included a link to the first article in the new U.S. elections & market matters series. The link to our Tour de Guelph Community Ride video has also been included this week, along with the latest 10-Minute Take and our Community Corner.
Markets were relatively flat over the past week, ending on a sour note after renewed geopolitical tension fueled by a tit-for-tat closing of consulates in China and the U.S. This diverted investor attention away from two important developments. On the coronavirus front, the increase in new case volumes in the U.S. finally showed early signs of slowing after weeks of rapid growth. Disappointedly, U.S. policy makers have yet to come to an agreement on another round of stimulus which the economy sorely needs. Instead, it was Canada and Europe that have moved forward. Most noteworthy was the latter, where a significant aid package was agreed upon that may mark a historic turning point for the region.
Investors can find some comfort in the level of new cases in the U.S., which did not meaningfully increase this week. This is a marked change given case volume had been accelerating significantly recently. The average number of new daily cases remains elevated, at well more than 60,000. But, the trends over the past week in states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona suggest cases may have peaked, and may be headed lower in the weeks to come. California has been the exception, as its new daily cases reached record levels and it has overtaken the state of New York for the highest amount of cumulative virus infections. Interestingly, the number of deaths in the state and elsewhere, relative to the number of cases, is merely a fraction of what New York experienced. This may be one reason why the markets have been resilient in the face of rising infection rates. Overall, the slowing of the rate of new infections in the country comes after many states scaled back their reopening plans, added new restrictions, and took preventative measures. This week presented some of the first signs that these actions may be starting to have a positive effect.
Elsewhere, outbreaks remain a challenge, which is something investors have likely become accustomed to. Hong Kong and Australia are grappling with some of the highest new daily infections since the crisis began. Meanwhile, in Europe, there have been clusters of new cases in France and Spain. Belgium though is perhaps most noteworthy as it has seen new case volumes accelerate across most of its provinces. India once again reported record numbers of new cases, and parts of Central and South America have seen the same over the past week. Lastly, South Africa, has emerged as a new hotspot. It is responsible for nearly half the cases on the African continent, and now has the unfortunate distinction of being the country with the fifth highest rate of infections in the world.
Government action – a change for Europe, Canada doing its part, waiting on the U.S.
Europe deserved some praise this week as the region announced a “Recovery Fund” amounting to more than $1 trillion. There are two noteworthy features. First, the plan allows the European Union to effectively raise capital as if it were one country, via the bond markets, for the very first time (instead of each country tasked with raising capital by themselves). Secondly, the plan will allow for any funds to be distributed across the region. One major implication is that countries that are regarded as being less prosperous, who are predominantly in the south and eastern parts of the region, may be able to raise money more easily and at lower costs. Ultimately, this may foster more sustainable growth potential in the region over time. This is a historic development because finding a compromise on most issues across the 28-member union has proved to be very challenging in recent years. This arrangement has the potential to change the political narrative in the region for the better.
The U.S. on the other hand has yet to reach an agreement on another round of stimulus. Much of the aid that was announced when the pandemic first emerged is set to expire at the end of this month. This includes a supplemental weekly unemployment benefit that has likely limited the hit to many consumers. The extension of some aid programs for the unemployed and businesses, and new legislation for municipal and state governments are needed. We expect negotiations to continue over the next few weeks and ultimately expect some form of compromise between the Republicans and Democrats, but time is of the essence given the pending expirations. The government may have to resort to some temporary extensions to buy more time for negotiations.
On this side of the border, the Canadian government has already done its part. Earlier this month, it extended the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which includes unemployment benefits, by two months. And most recently, the government passed legislation to change the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, which was initially designed months ago to provide wage subsidies to businesses. The program will now extend until the end of the year. But more importantly, it has been modified given feedback and underwhelming take-up. It is now characterized by increased business eligibility and promises to provide subsidies based on the scale of revenue declines businesses have experienced.
At some point, governments will have to wean their economies off of the record amounts of aid provided this year, but that moment is not now. Instead, it remains important for governments to buy time until there is greater stability with respect to the global pandemic and a solid footing from which to recover. We, along with everybody, hope that time is not too far in the future.
Elinesky Schuett Speaker Series
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our second online event, Cyber Security and You! We are planning additional events over the next few months, and will share the details with you in our regular emails.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 our Speaker Series. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-822-2024 – We’d love to hear your suggestions!
There is a new 10-Minute Take podcast available on our website.
Why markets are edging higher in spite of cautious corporates
As we head into a pivotal period of the current earnings season, tech stocks have buoyed key Wall Street indices – Nasdaq, for one, briefly hit another record high earlier this week. But what’s on the ticker doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s on the horizon. The COVID crisis in the U.S. is worsening, while Congress and the White House square off over another aid package. Even c-suite executives are openly sharing their concerns on the economic recovery. How might the rest of earnings season play out? And what do the latest rallies reveal about consumer sentiment? Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets’ Head of U.S. Equity Strategy, shares what’s beneath the latest market movements.
You can listen to this 10-Minute Take podcast online now: The 10-Minute Take.
How much does the U.S. president influence financial markets?
The president is but one of many factors that impact markets, but don’t let the media’s election coverage sway investment strategy. Focus on what matters. Read the full article here: How much does the U.S. president influence financial markets?
This article kicks off a series titled “U.S. elections & market matters” by RBC Wealth Management that will examine the aspects of the 2020 elections that are most pertinent to financial markets, investment portfolios, and the economy.
Helping you stay connected to your financial world
Today, more than ever, your world is online. With RBC Wealth Management Online, you can stay connected to your financial world, safely from home, or wherever it’s convenient for you.
With RBC Wealth Management Online it’s so easy to keep track of your investments from any device you use – mobile, tablet or desktop. You can view and save your eDocuments, make real-time fund transfers, communicate securely with us, view RBC market reports, and more.
And if you ever have any questions about using RBC Wealth Management Online, we’re here to help. Click on the “Show Me How” button at the top right of every page to take interactive tours, or contact us.
To help you find what you’re looking for on your homepage dashboard, we’ve included a sample dashboard and legend below.
- Find what you are looking for with simplified navigation (1)
- See important information at a glance on the homepage dashboard and drill down to see more details (2)
- Choose what you want to see using the flexible data columns (3)
- Access your eDocuments, including account statements and tax slips (4)
- Quickly update your Profile information or submit a request to change the address or phone numbers you have on file with us (5)
- Choose your email notification and document delivery preferences (6)
- Give Nicknames to your accounts to make them easily identifiable (7)
- See at-a-glance information about the balances in your Accounts or Account Groups (8)
- View detailed quotes by entering a security symbol or description (9)
- Take interactive online tours of your Homepage, Holdings and Settings by selecting the “Show Me How” button (10)
- Quickly view your individual holdings by clicking on the "View My Positions" button (11)
If you have any questions or are having difficulty navigating the new site, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Right now, when you switch to paperless “eDocuments” via RBC Wealth Management Online we will plant a tree in your honour through our partnership with Tree Canada.
Our Tour de Guelph Community Ride!
Members of our team dusted off their bikes, kept their social distance, and hit the trails last Tuesday for the Tour de Guelph Community Ride.
In addition to our ride, we are honoured to be involved with this extraordinary community event as the presenting sponsor of the 2020 Online Rider Photo Album.
Tour de Guelph supports the Guelph General Hospital and many other local charities through the Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium. This year, the Guelph General Hospital’s portion of the funds raised from the event will help to purchase new blood pressure monitors for the Day Surgery Unit.
Visit the Tour de Guelph website for more information.
Each week, we like to end our posts with a few good news stories from in and around the community. We hope that they brighten your day!
- How helping the community has helped retired residents during COVID-19
- Backyard: Online Event Series
- Guelph's museums to reopen with COVID-19 guidelines in place
- Children’s Foundation launches new event in support of local children
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.