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Market Updates

THE BULL CASE FOR STOCKS

Markets have been on a wild ride in September so far, with a strong first two days of the month followed by one of the sharpest 10% corrections ever for the NASDAQ. The case can be made that stocks may move higher over the rest of 2020 despite a number of risks, including a possible increase in COVID-19 cases, heightened US-China tensions, and election uncertainty.

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TOP 10 INVESTOR QUESTIONS

Many investors, ourselves included, find it difficult to understand why stocks have done so well lately in such a challenging economic environment and COVID-19 still an ongoing threat. We heard that question quite a bit at our annual national conference for LPL financial professionals held virtually in late August. That isn’t the only question we’ve been getting recently, so we’ve compiled our top-10 investor questions and answers.

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ELECTION PREVIEW PART II A TRUMP SECOND TERM: UPSIDE AND RISKS

A second term for President Donald Trump would likely feature a continuation of the pro-growth policies from the first term of his administration, and importantly for financial markets, a continuation of the status quo. Markets don’t like uncertainty, and while Trump’s negotiating style has been unpredictable at times, his commitment to lower taxes and deregulation may provide a consistent, market-friendly policy environment. We look more closely at what a second term for Trump could mean for the economy and markets.

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ELECTION PREVIEW PART I: A BIDEN PRESIDENCY—UPSIDE AND RISKS

While a potential Biden presidency may mean a shift from some pro-growth policies of the Trump administration, it’s possible any negative market impact may be muted. Economic forces tend to dominate policy, though policy still matters, and historically, markets and the economy have shown little preference for either Republican or Democratic leadership. While there are risks associated with potentially higher taxes and increased regulation, and specific industries may experience a meaningful impact from policy shifts, for markets overall, there’s a real possibility that it may be just business as usual.

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5 EARNINGS SEASON TAKEAWAYS

Corporate America delivered on expectations and then some during a second quarter earnings season that some are calling the biggest upside surprise ever. We recap the results, share five key takeaways for investors, and discuss our near-term outlook for stocks with the S&P 500 Index near record highs.

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DISSECTING THE DISCONNECT

One of the most difficult questions for investors to answer right now is how can the US economy be struggling so much while the stock market keeps churning higher? Even harder to answer questions are: When will that gap close and what will be the catalyst that starts to close it? We highlight some differences between the stock market and the economy in an attempt to explain the disconnect.

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