1st Quarter 2021: Spring Has Sprung!

Just Vaccinated Cartoon

Firm Highlights

  • Last quarter, we welcomed two new members to the JAG team: Senior Fixed Income Analyst Cynthia Ma (St. Louis office) and Junior Equity Research Analyst Tucker O’Neil (Chicago office).
  • Our new 3-minute cinematic videos of six members of the JAG team convey our personal values as well as insights about the firm. JAG Video Link

Spring Has Sprung!

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 190 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The pace of U.S. vaccinations continues to accelerate to a recent pace of three million per day. Vaccine administrations are also ramping up globally, albeit varying cadences by region and country. While it is probably too soon to declare a final victory over the pandemic, it appears likely that the U.S. could achieve de facto herd immunity against this virus within the next 90 – 120 days. This implies that the “post pandemic” era could
be upon us as soon as this coming summer or fall. As our clients know, we at JAG work hard every day to unemotionally evaluate the trajectory of the capital markets and economy. But, occasionally we make room for simple celebration and appreciation. We think the thrilling prospect of impending scientific victory over COVID-19 is worthy of applause.

Equities Staging Historic Rally
Equities have been staging an historic rally for more than a year. In fact, the S&P 500’s 56.4% return in 12 months ending 3/31/2021 ranks in the top 1.6% of rolling 12-month returns since 1926 — and the best since 1983 according to FactSet and Morningstar reports. Most of the gains were achieved well before vaccines had been approved, and despite the surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths that occurred last fall. At the time, some investors wondered why the markets seemed disconnected from then-current headlines. But capital markets are discounting mechanisms, and as such they reflect future expectations more than today’s headlines. This is the historical lesson learned at every extreme period throughout human history.

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