A year ago, on Wednesday, the stock market COVID-19 crash began, causing a slide that drove stocks into a bear market that bottomed out about a month later. The chaos was not limited to actions. The Treasury market nearly came to a standstill, prompting extraordinary responses from the Federal Reserve and other central banks. An oil futures contract set to expire soon in April was traded and closed in negative territory for the first time in history, as investors sought havens and abandoned assets perceived as risky.
While stocks have rebounded, led by tech and tech-oriented stocks that have benefited the most from the stay-at-home dynamics of the pandemic, the leaders when it comes to total return are a pair of metals: copper. HG00, + 3.00% and silver SI00, + 0.82%, benefiting from the expectations of economic recovery. It is worth noting, however, that two assets that were not included in the list of “top” global financial assets have performed even stronger. Bitcoin BTCUSD, + 2.51%, was up 395.8% over the 12-month period, while the NYSE FAANG + index of large-cap technology stocks was up 85.8%, Deutsche Bank macroeconomic strategist Jim Reid noted in a note. On Monday, February 24, 2020, there was a major global correction, as the number of Italian COVID-19 cases jumped over the weekend from single figures to 220, Reid recalled. “If you had been told 12 months ago that we would now have around 113 million recorded cases and 2.5 million recorded deaths (both probably underestimated) with much of the world in lockdown conditions for most of the year, I suspect you would. I would have found it difficult to understand the course of the markets, ”he said. At the same time, the Fed and the European Central Bank alone have added about $ 6 trillion to their balance sheets over the past year, while governments have provided trillions in fiscal injections, and even more from Washington, he noted. Meanwhile, economists appear to be in a race to improve their 2021 economic growth forecasts. Stocks and commodities were in recovery mode on Wednesday, with stocks largely shaking off a recent round of fluctuations linked to the rising bond yields as growth and inflation expectations soared. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, + 1.36%, rose more than 400 points, or 1.3%, after hitting an intraday record, while the S&P 500 SPX, + 1.04%, rose 1% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, + 0.65% gained 0.5%, last Wednesday afternoon.