Stocks recovered more of their first quarter losses in July with the S&P index again significantly outperforming the DOW index. All sectors of the market rose over the month except energy stocks. Besides technology stocks, health care and utilities sectors returned very well in July. Bonds contributed to the general swell in returns to bring diversified portfolios back above this year’s starting values and well ahead of values a year ago.
Despite a worse than expected 2nd quarter economic report at the end of July, stock prices rose to add to the month’s gains. Optimism in the market would seem to be based on continued hope that a vaccine for Covid-19 will be available in a few more months. The amazing medical research effort toward this goal is offering encouraging progress but the road ahead is far from certain. The effect of the vaccine must be safe for humans and reliable; both qualities require over a year to prove. The country-wide surge of coronavirus delays the economic recovery as thousands more lives are lost needlessly.
A local farm offers summer abundance in more varieties than I could grow. My small garden supplies flavorful herbs making summer meals sing with unique seasonings and early morning air heavy with fragrance. The garden has never been so tended. For the rest of the earth this is an ordinary summer. The birds still greet the day with song and feed their young with parental diligence. It is only we who expect more from these golden days.