The emergence of COVID-19 in the U.S. as well as the subsequent
measures to stem the spread of the virus sparked a rapid deterioration
in markets and the economy that has no clear parallel in history. The U.S.
economy is likely in the midst of the most severe contraction in recent
memory, precipitated by widespread measures to shut down businesses
and socially distance, all in hopes of slowing the acceleration of COVID-19.
Fear and uncertainty surrounding the virus and expectations for a sharp
decline in corporate earnings led to the most volatile month for equity
markets in history ending the 11-year bull market. In response, the fiscal
and monetary policy measures employed were swift and aggressive,
helping to stabilize markets toward month-end.
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