Investment Review – February 2020

February 13, 2020 Investment Review

  1. January was a volatile month of trading, and the market plunged on the last day amid rising fears about the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Overall, the S&P 500 returned -0.04% in January, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average returned -0.89%. The Nasdaq Composite fared better, generating +2.00% during the month.

  2. Oil prices fell on worries that the coronavirus outbreak will reduce Chinese energy consumption (China is the world’s largest oil consumer). Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, recently traded at $55.34 a barrel and is down nearly 20% from the recent peak in September. Representatives of OPEC and its allies are set to meet in early February to debate reducing output.


  3. At 11pm on January 31, Britain left the European Union, meeting the self-imposed deadline for Brexit. There will be an 11-month transition period, and the UK will leave the single market and customs union at the end of the transition. In the meantime, the two sides will negotiate a new free trade agreement.

key investment statistics february 2020

Sources: Bloomberg LLCU.S. Commerce DepartmentBureau of Labor Statistics, Dow Jones Inc., MarketWatch, Standard & PoorsFederal Reserve BankFactSet

Disclosure: This commentary reflects the opinions of Welch & Forbes based on information that we believe to be reliable. It is intended for informational purposes only, and not to suggest any specific performance or results, nor should it be considered investment, financial, tax or other professional advice. It is not an offer or solicitation.


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