March 10, 2021—The overall stock market has been treading water for a few weeks, with the S&P 500 suffering modest setbacks of 3%–5% since the start of the year (and no pullback of 10% or more since the March 2020 crash). Overall market volatility has picked up with fits and starts but has averaged much less than in 2020.
March 8, 2021— Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have been around for decades but gained wide recognition in 2020 as an increasingly popular, alternative method of going public following a surge in initial public offering (IPO) and merger activity. In 2020, 248 new SPACs came to market, encompassing 53% of all IPOs for the year, and raised a cumulative $83 billion—more than five times 2019’s volume (Figure 1).
March 1, 2021—Some of our advisors and clients have asked whether the Investment Committee (IC) might make a tactical allocation to emerging markets U.S. dollar (EM USD) bonds. No doubt these questions are motivated by the fact that EM USD bonds offer higher yields than U.S. investment-grade bonds and involve return streams that are only partly correlated to those of other asset classes.