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Key Takeaways & Insights

Investors should expect heightened market volatility over the coming weeks until we receive better indications of the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy. Get more insights in our February Market Outlook.

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  • A slight acceleration in earnings growth and low interest rates may fuel valuation expansion in U.S. markets and drive equity prices moderately higher.
  • The U.S. yield curve has flattened due to concerns about the virus. The positive economic outlook and the Fed’s bias for monetary easing should prevent intermediate and longer-term rates from falling much further.
  • The Fed appears content with its current policy but could cut rates 0.25% (25 basis points) if the economy slows too much in the first quarter. As of right now, we don’t expect any interest rate changes in 2020. A dovish Fed should also constrain any notable advance in the U.S. dollar, which saw a recent spike due to the virus outbreak. Look for the dollar to settle into a tight trading range against other developed-market currencies.

Meet the Author

Ben Pace

Partner & Chief Investment Officer

Ben is the Chief Investment Officer and a Partner in the New York office. He leads the firm’s Investment Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. He has more than thirty years of experience in investment management. Ben has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, and is a frequent commentator on Bloomberg TV and radio, Fox TV and CNBC, appearing regularly on network programs such as Power Lunch, The Closing Bell, Squawk Box, and Worldwide Exchange.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Ben was Chief Investment Officer and Head of Global Investment Solutions for Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in the U.S. In his role as CIO, he sat on the PWM Global Investment Committee, providing input on the U.S. economy and capital markets. He oversaw the investment strategy and asset allocation for PWM clients in the U.S. As Head of Global Investment Solutions, he brought together PWM’s capital markets and investment capabilities in an effort to provide an effective and consistent experience for clients. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 1994, he managed equity income funds for two investment organizations. During his tenure with those institutions, he also served as a securities analyst with a particular emphasis on the financial services and healthcare industries.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Columbia University and Masters of Business Administration in finance from New York University.

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