Optimism towards the economic re-opening and a pledge by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell “to use our tools to the fullest until the crisis has passed” helped the S&P 500 index gain 4.5 percent in May. Oil prices bounced back from severely oversold levels and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note fell to 0.65 percent.
However, that optimism was replaced by shock and dismay over the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked protests and riots in a number of large U.S. cities. While the friction regarding the re-opening of the economy was likely to be anything but business as usual due to many new restrictions, numerous mass protests, curfews, and general unrest are likely to create additional challenges.
These are clearly unprecedented times.