As financial markets react to the global spread of the COVID-19 virus and anxiety levels increase, we want to provide perspective on the situation from Cetera® Investment Management to help you cut through the noise.
Investors are rightfully worried about the virus, as the global economy had already been rattled by the 2-year U.S.-China trade war, as well as the recent oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Social distancing is having a clear and direct impact on both the supply and demand sides of the global economy. Potential travel limits, factory closings, and school closures impact the supply side, and fewer trips to malls, restaurants, and sporting events impact the demand side and result in lower consumer spending. Sharp stock market drops also contribute to lower consumer demand as household wealth is impacted.
It is too early to tell how much lower stocks will go, or when the market selloff will end, but we do see signs for optimism. Areas of early virus impact, like China, have already started to return to normal. And the U.S. consumer, housing and services market were healthy before this pandemic began. Lower gas prices and the interest rate drop will provide further relief for U.S. consumers—as will any additional economic stimulus from Washington.
While we do not expect volatility to disappear in the short term, we advise you to remain focused on your long-term goals and ensure your investments are diversified to avoid having too much risk exposure to one asset class or security.
Your well-being is of foremost importance, and our team hopes you and your family are taking all necessary precautions to remain safe. We will continue to monitor the economic and market implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and send you updates as soon as they are available.