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Monthly Economic Update For September, 2020

In this month’s recap: Stocks prices surged in August as investors cheered positive news of a potential COVID-19 treatment and welcomed a month-long succession of upbeat economic data.

Monthly Economic Update 


Presented by John Glowacz & Jim Donewald, September 2020 

U.S. Markets

Stock prices surged in August as investors cheered positive news of a potential COVID-19 treatment and welcomed a month-long succession of upbeat economic data. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.57 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 7.01 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite soared 9.59 percent.1 

Solid Foundation  

The month’s foundation was set by a series of strong economic reports, including an increase in manufacturing activity, better-than-anticipated factory orders, and a lessening of new jobless claims.2,3,4 

Notching Highs 

The S&P 500 index finally broke through resistance, ending the third week of August at a record high and completing the fastest bear market recovery in history. The Nasdaq Composite, having set multiple record highs during the same week, also ended the month at a record high.5,6

Strong Close to the Month

The final full week of trading was remarkable. Investors were encouraged by news of a potential COVID-19 treatment and a report suggesting U.S. and China negotiators had met to discuss trade issues. Stocks pushed higher still following announcement of the Fed’s inflation policy shift, suggesting that interest rates may remain low for longer than expected. 

Sector Scorecard

The majority of industry sectors closed higher in August, with gains in Communication Services (+12.02 percent), Consumer Discretionary (+11.48 percent), Consumer Staples (+4.95 percent), Financials (+5.62 percent), Health Care (+2.11 percent), Industrials (+9.98 percent), Materials (+4.89 percent), Real Estate (+1.81 percent), and Technology (+16.62 percent). Energy (-1.27 percent) and Utilities (-2.28 percent) lost ground.7 

What Investors May Be Talking About in September

The election season is moving into high gear as November draws near. Will uncertainty about the elections be reflected in the stock market? 

Since 1992, the S&P 500 has lost an average of 2 percent in the three months leading up to the presidential election but has been higher 43 percent of the time.8 

Keep in mind that the 2 percent average includes the 20 percent drop prior to the 2008 election that was the result of the ongoing credit crisis.9

While past performance is no guarantee of future results, the lesson may be evident: Prepare for some short-term volatility, without losing sight of your overall investment strategy. 


T I P   O F    T H E   M O N T H

 If you have a son or daughter graduating from college next year, remind them to try and build an emergency fund. Those with the least seniority can be the first to be laid off in the workplace, and sometimes that first job after college doesn’t work out.



World Markets

Markets overseas generally trended higher with the MSCI-EAFE Index rising 4.98 percent in August.10

European markets rose in hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine and another round of economic stimulus. Major markets ended higher, with France gaining 3.42 percent and Germany advancing 5.13 percent. The U.K. lagged a bit, tacking on just 0.70 percent.11

Pacific Rim stocks turned higher, with Australia picking up 2.24 percent and Hong Kong climbing 2.37 percent. Japan had a strong showing, adding 6.59 percent.12


Gross Domestic Product: Second-quarter GDP contraction was revised from 32.9 percent to 31.7 percent.13

Employment: The labor market continued to improve, albeit at a slower pace. Employers added 1.8 million jobs in July, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent.14

Retail Sales: Consumer spending rose a lower-than-expected 1.2 percent in July. Slower sales of electronics and appliances were offset by an increase in restaurant and bar sales.15

Industrial Production: Output by the nation’s manufacturers, miners, and utilities rose 3.0 percent. To put that number in perspective, industrial production hit 8.4 percent in February.16

Housing: Housing starts surged in July, increasing by 22.6 percent.17 

Existing home sales soared 24.7 percent, representing the biggest monthly gain since 1968, when tracking of existing home sales began.18 

New home sales jumped by 13.9 percent, reaching their highest level in over 13 years.19

Consumer Price Index: Prices of consumer goods rose 0.6 percent in July, with gasoline prices contributing to the increase.20

Durable Goods Orders:  Orders for products designed to last three years or longer gained 11.3 percent, rising for the third consecutive month, as defense aircraft and motor vehicle orders led the way.21


Q U O T E   O F    T H E   M O N T H


“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you are going to go to bed with satisfaction.




The Fed

Minutes from July’s meeting were released on August 19.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) appeared to favor more monetary accommodation, though Fed officials were unclear as to the timing or triggers for taking further policy action.

In a prepared statement, the FOMC said, “The path of the economy would depend significantly on the course of the virus.” 

In addition, FOMC members believe that the “...ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term...” causing members to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to ¼ percent.22



August 2020







S&P 500






August 2020





Sources: Yahoo Finance, August 31, 2020

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. U.S. Treasury Notes are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. However, if you sell a Treasury Note prior to maturity, it may be worth more or less than the original price paid.


T H E  M O N T H L Y   R I D D L E


Sally promised Kate today that she will tell Kate a big secret on the day before four days from the day after tomorrow. If today is Saturday the 13th, on what day and date will Sally tell Kate her big secret? 

LAST MONTH’S RIDDLE: How is it possible to name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

ANSWER: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 


In this week’s recap: Stocks continued a downward slide in response to continued uncertainty; fiscal stimulus still delayed.

Weekly Economic Update


Presented by John Glowacz & Jim Donewald, September 14, 2020



Stocks traveled a volatile path last week as investors appeared concerned about the upcoming elections, an uncertain economy, and more delays with additional fiscal stimulus. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.66%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slumped 2.51%. The Nasdaq Composite index plummeted 4.06% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 1.44%.1,2,3

Stocks Continue To Slip

In a holiday-shortened week of trading, stocks resumed their slide from the prior week, with the technology-heavy Nasdaq slipping into correction territory in a three-day span ended on Tuesday, September 8th. (A correction is defined as a decline of at least 10% from a recent high.)4

After staging a strong rebound on Wednesday, stocks once again headed lower as the Senate failed to pass another coronavirus stimulus bill. Mega-cap technology companies remained under pressure throughout the week. Energy stocks added to investors woes, plunging on data showing an unexpected build-up in inventories.5

The market ended the week on a mixed note, as technology companies lost additional ground.   

Final Thought

On Friday the nation commemorated the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

We join all Americans in remembering the lives we lost that day and the profound impact on the victims’ families. We are reminded that it was the unity, kindness, and warmth that we collectively rediscovered in the wake of 9/11 that saw us through that difficult period. 


T I P   O F    T H E   W E E K

 Some companies match employee retirement plan contributions. So if your budget allows, contribute enough to qualify for the match.




Tuesday: Industrial Production.

Wednesday: Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Announcement. 

Thursday: Jobless Claims. Housing Starts.

Friday: Leading Economic Indicators.

Source: Econoday, September 11, 2020

The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision. 


Tuesday: Adobe Systems (ADBE), Lennar Corporation (LEN), Fedex (FDX).

Source: Zacks, September 11, 2020

Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice. 


Q U O T E   O F    T H E   W E E K


“Popularity: it is glory’s small change.”






T H E   W E E K L Y    R I D D L E


A plastic bottle filled with cola weighs one liter. What do you need to add to it to make it weigh less than two ounces? 

LAST WEEK’S RIDDLE: If it were two hours later than right now, it would be half as long until midnight as it would be if it were an hour later than right now. What time is it?

ANSWER: 9:00 PM. 


John Glowacz  & Jim Donewald may be reached at 281-665-3081 or «John@crisfinancial.com or Jim@crisfinancial.com 

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Please feel free to send us their contact information via phone or email. (Don’t worry – we’ll request their permission before adding them to our mailing list.)

Jim Donewald

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs, or expenses. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The Nasdaq Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. The CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX®) is a key measure of market expectations of near-term volatility conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. The SSE Composite Index is an index of all stocks (A shares and B shares) that are traded at the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The CAC-40 Index is a narrow-based, modified capitalization-weighted index of 40 companies listed on the Paris Bourse. The FTSEurofirst 300 Index comprises the 300 largest companies ranked by market capitalisation in the FTSE Developed Europe Index. The FTSE 100 Index is a share index of the 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalization. Established in January 1980, the All Ordinaries is the oldest index of shares in Australia. It is made up of the share prices for 500 of the largest companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. The S&P/TSX Composite Index is an index of the stock (equity) prices of the largest companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) as measured by market capitalization. The Hang Seng Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted stock market index that is the main indicator of the overall market performance in Hong Kong. The FTSE TWSE Taiwan 50 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of stocks comprises 50 companies listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange developed by Taiwan Stock Exchange in collaboration with FTSE. The MSCI World Index is a free-float weighted equity index that includes developed world markets and does not include emerging markets. The Mexican Stock Exchange, commonly known as Mexican Bolsa, Mexbol, or BMV, is the only stock exchange in Mexico. The U.S. Dollar Index measures the performance of the U.S. dollar against a basket of six currencies. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.


1. The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2020

2. Barrons.com, August 6, 2020

3. MarketWatch, August 3, 2020

4. MarketWatch, August 27, 2020

5. The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2020

6. The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2020

7. FastSet Research, August 31, 2020

8. CNBC.com, August 10, 2020

9. CNBC.com, August 10, 2020

10. MSCI.com, August 31, 2020

11. MSCI.com, August 31, 2020

12. MSCI.com, August 31, 2020

13. CNBC.com, August 27, 2020

14. The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2020

15. CNBC.com, August 14, 2020

16. APNews.com, August 14, 2020

17. CNBC.com, August 18, 2020

18. The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2020

19. FoxBusiness.com, August 25, 2020

20. The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2020

21. The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2020

22. The Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2020