October 2020 Pricing Commentary

North American equity markets declined during the month of October. This weakness was largely a result of investor jitters regarding continued COVID-19 outbreaks, especially in Europe; rising investor anxiety as to the outcome of the November 3rd presidential election; and a postponed U.S. government economic stimulus package.

Yet, there are numerous positive factors that many investors are overlooking in this uncertain period. For instance, despite the equity market gyrations a number of September 30th corporate quarterly earnings results were better than anticipated, such as Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Honeywell, 3M, and Activision Blizzard. Additionally, the American economy appears to be rebounding sharply from its pandemic lows, with GDP growing at a staggering 33.1% rate in Q3. Moreover, while October equity prices trended lower, we were pleased that a number of our ABC Funds holdings produced positive performance during the month including: Algonquin Power, Bank of Montreal, Dream Industrial REIT, Alphabet, Alibaba, Danaher, First Republic Bank, Tencent, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Most importantly, we believe the present market weakness is only transient and that the balance of Q4 2020 should provide greater investor clarity with respect to the American political and economic landscape, as well as further monetary and fiscal stimulus. Ultimately, this should lead to higher equity prices to the end of 2020.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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