This Weekly Market Update reviews the top three market headlines; ISM Indices Signal Continued Recovery, Jobs Expansion Slows, U.K. First Nation to Authorize Covid-19 Vaccine

Data Points

Top Three Market Headlines

ISM Indices Signal Continued Recovery: The U.S. economy continued its recovery in November, albeit at a modestly slower pace, according to surveys from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The ISM reported that its Manufacturing Index, which is based on surveys of manufacturing company executives, registered 57.5 in November, down 1.8 points from the October reading of 59.3. (A reading above 50 indicates an expansion of activity while a sub-50 mark reflects contraction.) This marked the seventh consecutive month of expansion for the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, the ISM Services Index registered 55.9 in November, indicating the sixth-straight month of expansion, although at a slower pace than October’s reading of 56.6.

Jobs Expansion Slows: The Labor Department last week reported that U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew by 245,000 in November, down nearly 60% from the prior month and representing the slowest job growth since the employment recovery started in May. The warehousing and professional and business services sectors achieved the strongest growth, while the retail sector realized losses due to less demand for seasonal workers as online shopping has consistently grown. The unemployment rate continued to trend down, falling to 6.7% from 6.9% in October, but remains above the February pre-pandemic rate of 3.5%.

U.K. First Nation to Authorize Covid-19 Vaccine: The U.K. became the first Western nation to authorize the use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE, which is reported to be 95% effective in preventing the virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is set to announce its decision shortly after a review of the vaccine on December 10, while the European Medicines Agency plans to announce its decision by December 29. Two additional vaccines, developed separately by Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca, are also up for review, having reported efficacy rates of 94.5% and 69-90%, respectively. Global distribution of the vaccinations are expected to play a key role in the global containment of Covid-19 and the full reopening of the world’s economy.

As of December 4, 2020
Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 1.53% 12.25% 13.79% 18.60%
S&P 500 1.72% 10.35% 16.50% 21.08%
Russell 2000 2.04% 25.76% 14.84% 18.91%
MSCI EAFE 1.02% 13.46% 5.41% 9.25%
MSCI Emerging Markets 1.66% 15.76% 14.42% 23.36%
FTSE NAREIT 2.24% 11.88% -7.74% -7.75%
Bloomberg Commodity -0.69% 4.89% -7.79% -4.08%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate -0.42% 0.04% 6.84% 6.78%

WSJ 12/3/2020, CNBC 12/3/2020, Institute of Supply Management 12/3/2020, WSJ 12/4/2020. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.