December 2020 near-term market assessment

December 18, 2020

This document provides summary observations made by a group of Meketa investment professionals on a monthly basis that are based on a variety of market and economic factors. It is meant to be a high level overview of our aggregated views on current market trends. These views are used in a variety of ways to inform near-term portfolio construction.

As the month of November progressed, markets gained clarity on the US presidential election results and COVID-19 vaccines. The election outcome became increasingly clear by mid-month. At the same time, positive outcomes from vaccine trials for COVID-19 were announced. With these two developments, the market volatility from late October rapidly declined, catalyzing a burst higher across global equity markets, with a rotation away from growth and large cap, which have done well in the pandemic environment, toward value and small cap. While the near-term direction of fiscal policy remains uncertain, market participants clearly view the combination of recent events as positive for risk. Looking forward, the backdrop for equities remains favorable given policy support, the COVID-19 vaccine allowing economies to slowly reopen, and price momentum remaining favorable. However, valuations remain stretched in some cases, so prudent risk taking is merited. Fixed income continues to offer defensive characteristics, but yields remain low and spreads are tight, reducing the appeal of underlying fixed income asset classes on a relative basis.