July 23, 2020

2020 Second Quarter Market Recap

Anna Rathbun, Chief Investment Officer

Last quarter, we considered optimistic and pessimistic scenarios on the trajectory of the pandemic and the economic recovery. The story of “The Great Shutdown” during April and May is well-known, uniform and expected, however, the more interesting and complex part of the quarter began as the world slowly reopened the economy.


  • The second quarter saw a great rebound in risk assets after heavy losses in the prior three months.
  • Major indices in both equity and fixed income markets posted positive returns, with world equity markets roaring back in double-digit returns, reversing much of what they lost during the first quarter.
  • With the Federal Reserve backing the corporate markets, the demand for credit remained strong throughout the quarter.
  • Outside of the U.S., other major central banks and governments pledged to support their economies. Notably, the European Union passed a proposal to provide relief to member countries most in need, resulting in more stability for the Euro.
  • As more businesses rely on technology to maintain social distancing and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, technology companies have a pandemic-specific value proposition for the investing world. So far, we have seen tech companies display more resilience on risk-off market moments, and they have also pressed on during risk-on moments.
  • In the near term, we expect contact-driven industries, such as travel, to move in tandem with the market sentiment around the coronavirus until a vaccine is introduced.

Looking Ahead

Every individual has a different risk tolerance level when it comes to COVID-19, and every country has a different relationship between its people and the government. It is an impossible task to devise a single reopening plan that will be within everyone’s comfort level. Striking a balance between public safety and economic security is a tall order, one rife with numerous ethical and moral implications. But it is a tug-of-war in which our global society must engage because there are no easy answers. In the meantime, we sincerely hope for a swift and successful development of a vaccine that will put an end to this tug-of-war, bring confidence to open our economies, and most importantly, restore the prospect of health throughout the world.

More Information

For more information on the June 2020 Market Recap, please contact CBIZ Investment Advisory Services.


The information included in this update is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. The views expressed are those of the author based on the data available when this update was written and are subject to change based on market conditions or other factors. CBIZ Investment Advisory Services and/or CBIZ Retirement Plan Services disclaims any liability for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying information supplied in this update.

Investment management services to individuals, corporations, trusts, endowments and foundations offered through CBIZ Investment Advisory Services, LLC, SEC Registered Investment Adviser. For information about additional service offerings, please see the Form ADV 2A for CBIZ Investment Advisory Services, LLC at adviserinfo.sec.gov.

CBIZ Retirement Plan Services is a trade name under which certain subsidiaries of CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE Listed: CBZ) market investment advisory, investment management, third party administration, actuarial and other retirement plan services. Investments, investment advisory and investment management services offered through CBIZ Financial Solutions, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC and SEC Registered Investment Adviser, dba CBIZ Retirement Plan Advisory Services.  Investment advisory and investment management services may also be offered through CBIZ Investment Advisory Services, LLC, SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Third party administration, actuarial and other consulting services offered through CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc.

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