Stocks slid on the final day of another volatile week, amid dismal unemployment and a spike in coronavirus-related deaths in New York. Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, reported over 100,000 cases and 2,900 deaths. For the week, the Dow fell 2.65 percent to close at 21,052.53. The S&P lost 2.02 percent to finish at 2,488.65, and the NASDAQ dropped 1.69 percent to end the week at 7,373.08.
Returns Through 4/03/20
Dow Jones Industrials (TR)
NASDAQ Composite (PR)
S&P 500 (TR)
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR)
MSCI EAFE (TR)
Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond, NASDAQ and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. (TR) indicates total return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.
A LOT OF MONEY – The $2.3 trillion stimulus legislation, officially called the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security” Act (CARES), represents government spending equal to 52 percent of the $4.4 trillion of actual government outlays during all of fiscal year 2019 (source: Treasury Department).
FORGIVEN – $349 billion of the $2.3 trillion stimulus package is for small businesses that have less than 500 employees in the form of loans that will be forgiven if used for payroll and rent (source: CARES).
WHEN THE BEAR BOTTOMS – The S&P 500 had fallen 34 percent as of Monday 3/23/20 from its all-time closing high set on 2/19/20, the index’s 12th bear market since the end of WWII. The average return for the S&P 500 in the first year following the bear market low close in the previous 11 bears is +39.2 percent, more than 3 times the +12.6 percent average gain in the 2nd year following the bear market low close (source: BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – How CARES Act Affects Individuals
President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law March 27. In addition to hundreds of billions of dollars in funding to businesses, healthcare and state and local governments, the CARES Act includes these measures directly impacting individuals:
Taxes and payments: Individual tax filers who had an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 and married couples who filed joint returns with income up to $150,000 will automatically receive $1,200 and $2,400 checks respectively. Individuals and couples whose income was over those limits but up to $99,000 and $198,000 respectively will receive reduced amounts. Parents will receive $500 for each qualifying child. Individuals now have until July 15 to file their 2019 federal income taxes. Taxpayers can claim up to a $300 deduction for charitable donations made in 2020 – even if they don’t itemize.
Retirement accounts: Required Minimum Distributions from IRAs and 401(k)s are suspended through 2020. 401(k) loan limits are increased from $50,000 to $100,000. Penalties are waived on early withdrawals from pretax retirement plans up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related needs in 2020. Such withdrawals will be taxed, but taxes will be spread over three years. Alternatively, individuals may replace the funds within three years.
Student loans: Federal student loan and interest payments are automatically deferred until September 30. For individuals who qualify for student loan forgiveness, these skipped payments will count toward their 120 required payments.
Unemployment: Eligibility for unemployment insurance is expanded to include self-employed contractors and gig workers. Unemployment filers will receive an extra $600 a week (in addition to their states’ unemployment benefits) for up to four months. It also adds 13 weeks of unemployment benefits.
Homeowners and renters: Holders of federally backed mortgages can request forbearance for up to 180 days for virus-related hardships, with a second extension. Landlords with mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other federal entities cannot pursue eviction of tenants for 120 days following the Act’s enactment.
If you have questions on how the CARES Act affects you personally or other concerns about our current situation, don’t hesitate to call. Securities America and its financial service professionals do not provide tax advice.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright April 2020. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#3029683.1