US Market Commentary – July 2020

US July 2020 Commentary
Concerns around COVID19 and the path to “normalcy” continue to be the main driver for markets globally, with a backdrop of massive Central Bank intervention that have fueled strong returns in July across stock and bond markets

Through the end of July, the S&P 500 is just shy of it’s pre-pandemic high, even with continued weak economic data and growing uncertainty around the path to recovery.

In the U.S., GDP for the second quarter contracted -33% and personal consumption fell -35%, quarter over quarter. Additionally, new and continuing jobless claims remained historically high at ~17.5 million claims.

Still, the markets continue to look past the current state of affairs and into the future economic outlook. Namely, with the Federal Reserve purchasing trillions of dollars of bonds and keeping interest rates near 0%, the added money supply in the system has led to strong performance in all asset classes since March 2020 lows.

The Wahed FTSE USA Shariah ETF was up +7% in the month of July alone, and has rallied 32.5% since March (compared to the S&P 500 which is only up 27.3% during the same period). The U.S. dollar has continued to weaken, which weighed on Sterling denominated returns, and gold rallied ~11% in July and is up 26% year to date.

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