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Illinois produces up to five times more pumpkins than any other state. The Land of Lincoln has more than 15,000 acres devoted to gourd growing, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Those Illinois farms typically grow more than 500 million pounds of pumpkins annually. WOW!
Stocks opened higher. Reports over the weekend suggested the White House may be able strike a stimulus deal with the US House Democrats before the election, but the odds are still long, and early 2021 appears more likely. Talks will continue today. European markets are mixed in midday trading. Asian markets finished modestly higher, though generally good Chinese data over the weekend failed to lift Chinese stocks.

Excellent start to earnings season. With about 10% of S&P 500 Index companies having reported, index earnings for the third quarter are tracking to an 18% year-over-year decline, a big improvement from the more than 30% decline in the second quarter, and 3 percentage points above September 30 estimates. This week 96 S&P 500 companies are slated to report results.

China’s economy posts solid growth. China reported a 4.9% year-over-year increase in gross domestic product for its third quarter, attributable to the fact that the country had contained the virus first after being its origin. China’s impressive growth—including recovering all lost output from the first half of the year—is a key reason for our positive view of emerging markets, in addition to our expectation of a weaker US dollar and attractive valuations.

Week ahead. In addition to a barrage of earnings reports, this week’s economic calendar includes:

  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index on Monday
  • Building permits and housing starts on Tuesday
  • Federal Reserve (Fed) Beige Book on Wednesday
  • Jobless claims and leading indicators on Thursday
  • US Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) from Markit for manufacturing and services on Friday

Technical update. The S&P 500 Index came within 1.1% of a new record high last week, but ultimately it faltered late in the week and closed higher by just 0.2%. Markets are higher in early trading today and will once again look to make a run at the September 2 high point of 3588, while maintaining technical support at 3425.

COVID-19 news. New case growth decelerated in the United States over the weekend, taking the increase in the seven-day average down slightly to about 12% and near 55,000 daily new cases (source: COVID Tracking Project). Hospitalization growth slowed over the weekend as well, but the seven-day average still rose 25% week over week. France and Italy set new case records, while the United Kingdom may be headed for a national lockdown.
So far Don Rich, Leslie Rich and Bethany Thomas have all been nominated so far!
Join our team in celebrating the Cornerstone Wealth Management Partners (CWMP) team members and all the work that they do. It's time once again for The CWMP Oscars!

We'd love to see who you thought went above and beyond on our team to support you during this 2020 unprecedented tumultuous COVID pandemic year. Whether it was someone taking a little extra time to explain something to you or maybe a team member that just made you smile a little bigger one day, we'd love to hear all about it!

You'll be able to vote anonymously or feel free to share your name so we can "thank you". Click the button below to cast your vote!

LPL 2020 Midyear Outlook: The Trail to Recovery
The LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2020: The Trail to Recovery is here to guide us on the path to economic and market recovery and what to expect in the 2020 elections.
Our CAPS Program Can Assist in Building Your Financial Future
Many of our clients ask how they benefit from taking action and initiating a Financial Plan for themselves. When you sign up for our CAPS program,
you will get access to: A personalized financial plan, a place to keep all of your accounts in one location and a secure place to store your important documents.
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All index and market data from FactSet and MarketWatch.
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