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Equity markets are pointing to a relatively flat start to the month of June, which despite the ongoing pandemic and protests over the weekend can be considered a win. Futures were actually higher overnight, but reports that China is going to pause agricultural imports halted the rally in its tracks. There’s certainly no shortage of headwinds out there for the market right now, so if you’re looking for a wall of worry to climb, this one is pretty steep.
Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for a rundown of the latest stock-specific news of note, news in global markets, the latest batch of Manufacturing PMI readings for May, global and national trends related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and much more.
It may sound hard to believe, but with May’s gain, the S&P 500’s total return over the last year is a gain of 12.8%. That’s right. In the midst of the global pandemic and a record decline in economic activity, the S&P 500 has had an above-average year! While the equity market’s one year gain is above average, the two-year return of 8.2% (annualized) is more than two full percentage points below the historical average. Even over the last five years, current returns are still modestly below average (so much for that near-record bull market). Over a ten-year window, market returns have been pretty strong (13.2% vs 10.4%), but over a 20-year time frame, returns remain extremely depressed. At just 5.9%, annualized, the S&P 500’s average return is only a little better than half the long-term average 20-year return.