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Weekly Market Update for November 25, 2020

by Jim Ulland

As hoped, the vaccines are winning the market’s “tug-of-war” with lockdowns. On the one side, vaccines added another set of hands when the two very effective vaccines from Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna were joined by AstraZeneca/Oxford. AstraZeneca/Oxford’s vaccine was just below the 95% effective level of the other two when trial results were announced this week. The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine was also cheaper and easier to store. At the same time, Lockdowns lost some power. The Thanksgiving lockdown restrictions were pretty unpopular, especially when the Governor of California was caught violating the Covid-19 rules he established.

Another market boost seemed to come from President-Elect Biden, who is establishing a more moderate tone than expected. Biden’s less combative rhetoric has been welcomed. Many of Biden’s proposed appointees for the Cabinet have come from the Obama administration or Biden’s current and former staff members. So far, these appointees are known quantities and rather traditional moderate to liberal choices. The market’s reaction to Biden’s good start and to the added vaccine was reflected in new all-time highs for the NASDAQ, the DOW and the SP 500.

The market also loves divided government. Biden proposed a long list of tax increases during the campaign. Divided government will moderate those proposals. We will see if we have divided government on January 5 when the two US Senate runoff elections are held in Georgia. The Republicans would have to win at least one of the two races to create a divided government. For those who are not political junkies, divided government means that the same party does not have a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate, and the Presidency.

Economic news for the week was mixed. Unemployment filings ticked up as expected with the additional lockdowns and school closings. The number of those who already were on unemployment continued to decline, this week by another 300,000. Consumer confidence declined, largely attributed to the lockdowns. Crude oil prices advanced indicating further economic recovery expectations as the vaccines allow travel and a more normal life. Pressure continues for one more stimulus package from Congress as many states close restaurants and bars.

For this shortened week and not including the partial day on Friday, the Nasdaq was up +2.0%. The SP 500 also was up +2.0%. Monday the SP 500 was +0.56%, Tuesday +1.62%, Wednesday -0.16%. Interest rates stayed relatively flat to slightly lower.

We are open for a shortened day Friday. Next week will bring more Covid headlines and maybe some progress on the next stimulus package. Hopefully, everyone is careful during Thanksgiving. We just purchased a second air filtration unit for our office in the IDS Center.

*The information contained in this commentary is not investment advice for any person. It is presented only for informational purposes to assist in explaining factors that may have had an impact in the past or may have an impact in the future on client portfolios or composites. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the firm on this date and are subject to change. Included information has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing materials are accurate or complete. Clients or prospective clients should contact Ulland Investment Advisors for individualized information prior to deciding to participate in any portfolio or making any investment decision. Ulland Investment Advisors does not provide tax advice. All clients/prospective clients are strongly urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding any potential investment. Performance quoted is past performance. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. There is always a possibility of loss. Current performance may be lower or higher than performance shown. Differences in performance versus the indices/funds may be attributable, in part, to differences in the asset make-up of the strategies vs. the indices/funds. Performance calculations are based on the reinvestment of dividends and gains unless these amounts were paid out to the client. Performance is subject to revision. See for important strategy disclosures.


Ulland Investment Advisors

4550 IDS Center · Eighty South Eighth Street · Minneapolis MN 55402 · Telephone: 612-312-1400 · Facsimile: 612-204-3464