Everybody knew that our GDP would drop badly in the second quarter, following a 7% annualized drop in the first quarter. Estimates were that our GDP would drop 30-35%, and it dropped 32.9% – the biggest drop in history, by a factor of three times. The lockdown from mid-March to Mid-May was costly indeed. Estimates for the third quarter are a huge improvement – up 15-20%. I think that range is overly-optimistic. The economy was clearly strengthening in May and June but has weakened slightly in July. The trend is not our friend.
After the horrendous increase in unemployment, initial jobless claims (released every Thursday) have started inching up again. The all-important monthly BLS Jobs Report will be released next Friday (8/7). The stock market is almost certain to over-react to that report.
The never-ending pandemic and the never-ending refusal to combat it suggest the stock market has already reached its high point, at least until the election in November. I expect we will trade within a relatively narrow range until that uncertainty is reduced.