In a normal presidential election year, June headlines would be filled with speculation about who the White House challenger will pick as a running mate
What type of economic recovery will the U.S. see in the coming months? U, V, or W—or will it be more like a swoosh?
While crisis-level activity has largely subsided, advisors remain very active relative to "normal" levels of activity we saw during the bull market run.
During these volatile market swings and stay at home orders for investors, advisors remain very active. Investing activity last week was still two times average transaction volume as compared to the past 18 months. While the equity markets showed strong performance last week, advisors remained in a neutral risk stance. Cash as a percentage of portfolio dropped to 5% from 6.2%, a nearly 20% drop in cash allocations.
Advisors are very slowly reducing cash levels. Their attitude toward risk is neutral, repeating last week's trend, in that both risky and non-risky assets saw nearly zero net flows.
Advisors remain very active making small changes to client portfolios, harvesting tax losses, and fine tuning risk tolerance, while generally keeping their clients invested to meet their objectives.
In testimony on Capitol Hill this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell repeatedly praised the strength of the U.S. economy across multiple indicators. He pointed to an historically-low unemployment rate, rising wages, and continual, moderate overall growth. Powell has a notably turbulent relationship with President Donald Trump, but his assessment should have been music to the ears of top White House and Trump campaign officials (even if the president could not help live-Tweeting his criticism of Powell’s testimony). The economy, after all, is historically perhaps the most reliable presidential election indicator.
So that didn’t go as planned. While politicos inside the Beltway and across the country were expecting to get our first real results in the Democratic presidential primary last night, problems with tallying the vote in Iowa have caused a significant delay in reporting the results. In a story posted yesterday, The Associated Press reported Iowa Democratic Party officials had promised that “an early issue with a mobile app designed to report results” would “not hinder the Iowa caucus process.”
Last year, we looked at how accurate polls going into the Iowa Caucus have been at predicting the eventual outcome of that state’s first-in-the-nation election. The conclusion, way back then, was that surveys conducted a few months out from voting have not historically been very good at telling us who was going to win.