December Special Market Update

November was another month for the record books in what has been a record-book-filling year. Since 1990, a period that consists of 371 months, there have been only nine +/- 10% moves in the S&P 500 - a rare event. November 2020 was the most recent such event, but 2020 also produced two others (March and April).

+/- 10% Monthly Moves in the S&P 500 since 1990
12.68% April 2020
11.16% December 1991
10.77% October 2011
10.57% November 2020
-10.99% February 2009
-11.00% September 2002
-12.51% March 2020
-14.58% August 1998
-16.94% October 2008
There are many factors that have combined to push the equity markets to new records. We'll discuss a few here, including: encouraging vaccine news, societal behavior changes, and Presidential Election results.

Vaccine News

On November 9th and 16th Pfizer and Moderna released independent results that the effectiveness of their vaccines across test groups was 90% and 94%, respectively. In both cases, the market responded positively to the psychological benefit of eminent vaccine distribution and the continued development of better and better therapeutics to assist people diagnosed with the virus.

As we've seen and said before, the markets love to overdo things in both directions. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, previously out-of-favor "reopening" names in industries such as retail, airlines and cruise lines surged while the "stay at home" trade slowed, giving up some ground.

But it is hard to imagine the US and global economies returning to "normal" just because of a vaccine. Domestic air travel is still off more than 65% and cruise lines may not effectively return to pre-pandemic demand for years, vaccine or not. Important industries like restaurants, hospitality, leisure/lifestyle and social and entertainment mainstays (e.g., live music, sporting events, conventions, weddings, graduations, holiday parties, etc.) have been significantly curtailed for months.

One hurdle to a full reopening of the economy is the number of Americans who say they have no intention of taking the vaccine. In recent months that number has grown with polls indicating that only 50% of individuals over 65 years of age state they would take a vaccine. And, probably no surprise, the numbers by political party are even more divisive with an October 17th report showing that 56%, 37% and 33% of Democrats, Independents and Republicans say they are willing to receive the vaccine, respectively.

Societal Behavior Changes

We believe behaviors have been permanently changed by our shared pandemic experience. While some individuals will once again be excited to travel, cruise, dine-out and attend a movie or Broadway play, others will not even consider these "close-contact" activities.

Major employers have stated that millions of their "office" employees have transitioned to full-time remote work. This shift in paradigm will affect everything from public transportation to city-center economies, from the health and beauty industry to clothing and textiles.

Companies that make athletic leisure products like Nike and Lululemon have surged as Americans ditch business formal wear for more comfortable work-from-home attire. Moreover, work-from-home arrangements eliminate the expense and/or wasted time of commuting, dry cleaning, personal grooming, and the habitual morning Starbucks stop.

Technology adoption has accelerated in mere months what might originally have taken a decade. Millions of individuals have made Zoom, PayPal, and DocuSign part of their daily life. We have also likely seen a permanent change in shopping habits as Amazon, Target, Walmart, local grocers, and even specific retailers like Chewy are establishing a new "norm" of curbside pickup or home delivery.

While there are many positive signs -- we remain cautious as State lockdowns have accelerated in the last several days and the psychological effect of canceling Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings may have an adverse effect on consumer sentiment and mental health in general. Pandemic fatigue, you know!

Presidential Election Results

The direction of the market since the election seems to indicate that investors feel confident in the national election outcome - particularly with an apparent balance of power. That conviction may be higher and the rally extended when we have a definitive result in the Senate. The two Georgia Senate seats remain unresolved due to runoff election requirements. If both seats go Republican, or there is a split, then Republicans will retain control of the Senate, providing a balance of power in Washington DC. A Democratic sweep in Georgia would fast track cabinet member approval, set the stage for an era of Democratic dominance in our nation's capital, and provide a potential runway for Democratic initiatives (e.g., higher taxes, expanding the supreme court, possible addition of Puerto Rico and Washington DC as states, etc.).

As we've outlined in previous White Papers, history shows that markets prefer a balance of power or political gridlock to single party control. In the end, we think a split in the Georgia Senate races is the most likely outcome, allowing the equity markets to breathe a sigh of relief, and ultimately pushing the equity markets further into record territory in Q1 2021.

We also expect the new Biden administration, in an effort to get off on the right foot with the American public, to implement substantial economic and fiscal stimulus throughout 2021. That, coupled with low interest rates, has typically been a very bullish catalyst for the equity markets.


We certainly didn't have all the answers all the time, but we have been more often right than wrong. We constantly push ourselves to learn from every new experience so that we are best prepared and have a plan in place for each of our client's accounts - no matter the market environment.

We would like to thank you, our incredible clients, for your continued trust, faith and support in what has been the most challenging investment year since 2008 and 2009. Let's all raise a glass in hopes that 2021 will be a far different year than 2020.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


There are no warranties implied.
Any opinions expressed on this website are the opinions of WT Wealth Management and its associates only. Material listed on this website is neither an offer to buy or sell securities nor should it be interpreted as personal financial advice. You should always seek out the advice of a qualified investment professional before deciding to invest. Investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETF’s carry certain specific risks and part or all of your account value can be lost.

At WT Wealth Management we strongly suggest having a personal financial plan in place before making any investment decisions including understanding your personal risk tolerance and having clearly outlined investment objectives.

View Disclosure
WT Wealth Management is an SEC registered investment adviser, with in excess of $100 million in assets under management (AUM) with offices in Flagstaff, Scottsdale, Sedona and Tucson, AZ along with Jackson Hole, WY and Las Vegas, NV. WT Wealth Management is a manager of Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs). With SMAs, performance can vary widely from investor to investor as each portfolio is individually constructed and managed. Asset allocation weightings are determined based on a wide array of economic and market conditions the day the funds are invested. In an SMA, each investor may own individual Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), individual equities or mutual funds. As the manager we have the freedom and flexibility to tailor the portfolio to address an individual investor's personal risk tolerance and investment objectives – thus making the account “separate” and distinct from all others we manage. An investment with WT Wealth Management is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or any other government agency. Any opinions expressed are the opinions of WT Wealth Management and its associates only. Information offered is neither an offer to buy or sell securities nor should it be interpreted as personal financial advice. Always seek out the advice of a qualified investment professional before deciding to invest. Investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs carries certain specific risks and part or all of an account's value can be lost. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, narrowly focused investments, investments in smaller companies, sector and/or thematic ETFs and investments in single countries typically exhibit higher volatility. International, Emerging Market and Frontier Market ETFs, mutual funds and individual securities may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuations in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability that other nations experience. Individual bonds, bond mutual funds and bond ETFs will typically decrease in value as interest rates rise. A portion of a municipal bond fund's income may be subject to federal or state income taxes or the alternative minimum tax. Capital gains (short and long-term), if any, are subject to capital gains tax. Diversification and asset allocation may not protect against market risk or investment losses. At WT Wealth Management, we strongly suggest having a personal financial plan in place before making any investment decisions including understanding personal risk tolerance, having clearly outlined investment objectives and a clearly defined investment time horizon. WT Wealth Management may only transact business in those states in which it is registered, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Individualized responses to persons that involve either the effecting of transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made without registration or exemption. WT Wealth Management's website is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its advisory services, together with access to additional investment-related information, publications, and links. Accordingly, the publication of WT Wealth Management's website should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as WT Wealth Management's solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, over the internet. Any subsequent, direct communication by WT Wealth Management with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. A copy of WT Wealth Management's current written disclosure statement discussing WT Wealth Management's registrations, business operations, services, and fees is available at the SEC's investment adviser public information website (www. or from WT Wealth Management directly. WT Wealth Management does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to WT Wealth Management's web site or incorporated therein, and takes no responsibility therefor. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Contact Us Today

Reach us directly at 800-825-0616
or by using the contact form below.

Your message has been sent. Thank you!