Global stocks, led by the US markets, have done remarkably well against the backdrop of a global pandemic and sharp economic decline. Major bellwether indices have rallied from the March lows, driven by technology companies that were the biggest beneficiaries of physical distancing and restrictive movement measures. Suburban housing was another surprising beneficiary, spurring the property and construction sectors. A rising tide lifts all boats.
To be sure, there were bouts of volatility, including the latest selloff in the last two weeks of October — attributed to concerns over the global economic recovery, following a resurgence in Covid-19 cases and uncertainties in the run-up to the US presidential election. Perhaps investors are also taking some money off the table, after the spectacular rally we have had, as the year-end nears.
We remain bullish on stocks. By the time this article is published, the US may already have a clear winner for the presidential election. Historically, the stock market has moved higher in the longer term, regardless of the winner. In the short term, either side will pass a stimulus package in the weeks ahead, smaller if Republicans retain control of the Senate.