On Air with Altair: 2Q 2020 Market Review Video

Want to hear Altair’s analysis of the markets, but do not have the time to read all of Altair Insight? Watch our video summary of the report and you will be caught up on our market review in 3 minutes.

Video Summary

Coronavirus Recession

  • Progress on the road back to economic normalcy has proven stubbornly fickle this summer. We’ve just emerged from the economy’s worst quarter in decades and a new surge in virus infections has dashed hopes for a smooth, V-shaped recovery.
  • We do expect the recovery that began in May to continue a non-linear climb out of a deep but presumably short recession.
  • Although the course of COVID-19 will ultimately determine just how long the economic damage lasts, we believe the worst is behind us.
  • The inevitable development of therapeutics and vaccines will eventually speed the economy back toward full strength.
  • In the meantime, the recovery may have slowed somewhat but we don’t believe it will be derailed.

Stimulus’ Role

  • The Federal Reserve continues to underpin the recovery with heavy monetary stimulus, and we have confidence it will continue to act as a backstop throughout this crisis.
  • It’s certainly fair to wonder about the long-term consequences of the Fed taking on trillions of dollars in new debt.
  • But the bottom line for us is that its policies are working, at a time when they are critically needed.
  • The Fed’s open-wallet approach has breathed life into a moribund economy and led to a remarkable rebound for stocks in the second quarter, following their worst quarter since 2008.
  • More fiscal stimulus from Congress now is needed to continue the momentum and avoid more long-term damage to the economy, especially considering the stubbornness of the virus.
  • We view an additional stimulus package as likely and imminent.


  • With control of both Congress and the White House up for grabs during a pandemic, the uncertainty level for investors is no doubt high.
  • The market’s performance in the two years after elections has not been drastically different whether one party holds the presidency and both houses of Congress or whether control is split.
  • The current theory is that a Biden presidency would be bad for stocks because of his party’s agenda. This could turn out to be true.
  • On the flip side, the market might respond positively if trade tensions lessen with China and Europe and higher taxes fund even more government spending. This equally is a real possibility.
  • A change of control may not be universally good or bad for markets, although it would certainly mix up the winners and losers for investors.


The recovery is likely to be long and the short-term outlook is particularly uncertain with elections upcoming and geopolitical risks rising. Yet we are fully confident in prospects for both the economy and the markets over the longer term. These countervailing forces are the reason that we’ve recently returned the portfolios to their long-term strategic targets.

You can find our full commentary here.


Past performance is not indicative of future performance, and all investments are subject to the risk of loss. This material is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell or buy any security. Material contained in this communication should not be construed as accounting, legal, or tax advice. We encourage you to contact us with questions regarding the material shown.