A First Foundation Blog

The Week Ahead – Hang in There, Vaccines are Coming

Welcome to “The Week Ahead” where we take a moment to provide our thoughts on what we can expect in markets and the economy during the upcoming week. 

Equity markets and risk assets rallied sharply last week on word that Pfizer had seen promising test results on a COVID-19 vaccine. A vaccine at last – and it appears to be a highly successful one. This should remove worst-case scenarios and help investors look through near term issues to focus more confidently on the recovery, even if the vaccine distribution could still be a long way off.

The vaccine news comes as the third wave of coronavirus has been building speed in the U.S. as new daily cases have surged higher (reaching 144k). Hospitalizations have also now reached new highs at 65k, and daily deaths are trending higher as well. The timing, as the holiday season is about to begin and much of the country will move indoors, couldn’t be worse. This is leading to increased mitigation measures that will likely impact the economic data in the weeks and months ahead. The irony is that the delay in vaccine distribution should prompt governments to cushion the blow with more fiscal stimulus as lockdown restrictions are inevitably reissued. Chicago has already issued a 30-day “stay-at-home” advisory, and Detroit is closing schools for two months. More cities and states are likely to follow suit, despite knowing more about how the virus spreads and how to prepare hospitals than they did in the spring. This is likely to set off alarms for investors, as governments in Europe have already imposed broad lockdown measures. We see it as not a question of “if” but “when” additional stimulus will be delivered to avoid inflicting further pain to hurting businesses and households.

This week, retail sales statistics are on deck and should provide some information on consumers. Readings on existing home sales, building permits, and housing starts should give insight into the housing market and attest to housing index readings remaining at record levels. Central bank speakers may also garner attention, with several officials scheduled to speak in the coming week. Otherwise, industrial production numbers should shed more light on the ongoing inventory restocking cycle.

Data deck for November 14–November 20:

WA chart 11.16.20



Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by First Foundation Advisors), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from First Foundation Advisors. Please remember that if you are a First Foundation client, it remains your responsibility to advise First Foundation, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. First Foundation Advisors is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the First Foundation Advisors’ current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request, or at  Please Note: First Foundation Advisors does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to First Foundation Advisors’ web site or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Calvin Jones, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income
About the Author
Calvin Jones, CFA, Managing Director of Fixed Income
Mr. Jones is a senior member of the First Foundation Advisors investment management team and is responsible for working closely with First Foundation’s financial advisors to develop investment strategies utilizing income assets to help clients achieve their financial goals. In his role, Mr. Jones serves on the company’s Investment and Asset Allocation committees and is responsible for leading and overseeing the firm’s fixed income assets. Mr. Jones joined First Foundation Advisors in 2011. His previous experience at ProShare Advisors included trading and analysis in global equity and derivatives markets for the world’s largest manager of leveraged and inverse funds. Mr. Jones earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science in Mathematical Finance degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Los Angeles. Read more