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Economic Comment and Market Outlook
In a year whose number is synonymous with “perfect vision,” all of humanity discovered how imperfect
our ability to see the future is. 2020 was simultaneously dramatic, stressful, calamitous, intense,
and ultimately, even rewarding from an investment standpoint. Most of us are still coming to terms
with the events we have experienced. The appearance of the novel coronavirus created economic and
market upheaval beginning in February, triggering a steep decline in the financial markets. Resulting
lockdowns and “social distancing” behavior forced an equally dramatic decline in economic activity
and employment, ending the longest expansion on record. Then, as quickly as the downturn began, the
aggressive actions of governments and central bankers engineered an amazing, powerful response in
the markets, leading a shift from meltdown conditions to robust recovery as the S&P 500 Index
repeatedly set new all-time highs later in the year. Shockingly, in spite of registering a decline
of 34% from February 19 to March 23, the S&P 500 Index finished the year with a positive total
return of 18.4%. Fayez Sarofim & Co. portfolios also experienced an excellent outcome, participating
in the strong advance after offering downside protection during the first quarter’s volatile downturn.
The above commentaries do not constitute an offer of any securities or investment advisory services. Fayez Sarofim & Co. does not represent that the information contained in the commentaries is accurate, true or complete, makes no warranty, express or implied, regarding the information herein and shall not be liable for any losses, damages, costs or expenses relating to its adequacy, accuracy, truth, completeness or use. Each commentary is subject to a more complete description and does not contain all of the information necessary to make an investment decision.
The volatility of any indices referenced in the commentaries may be materially different from that of Fayez Sarofim & Co.’s products. In addition, Fayez Sarofim & Co.’s holdings may differ significantly from the securities that comprise any highlighted indices.
Any projections, market outlooks or estimates expressed in the provided letters are forward looking statements and are based on certain assumptions. Such projections, outlooks and assumptions should not be construed to be indicative of the actual events that will occur and do not constitute investment advice. Opinions and information included in the commentaries were current opinions and information only as of the date thereof or as of the date indicated, and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while information presented in the commentaries is believed to be accurate as of the date written and/or derived from sources which Fayez Sarofim & Co. believes to be reliable, Fayez Sarofim & Co. disclaims any and all liability as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained therein.