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Solaris Advisors Market Commentary April 2020

15 April 2020

The first quarter of 2020 ushered in the virulent COVID-19 virus. This harrowing period will forever be remembered for the countless stories of human tragedy, the remarkable valor of first responders and healthcare workers, and, sadly, a series of grimly historic numbers. From an investment perspective, several unwanted records were reached during the first quarter, including the largest first quarter loss ever recorded for the Dow Jones Industrials Index, the fastest decline into a bear market (as well as the fastest advance out of a bear market) and the highest level ever recorded for the VIX Index. The market’s dislocation has unleashed a torrent of investor fear along with new investment opportunities. Volatility, and the velocity of the downturn, have been unprecedented. In a period of just six weeks, credit spreads have blown wide open, stocks have fallen dramatically and―with its new normal of daily thousand-point moves both up and down―the Dow has become the “manic depressive” of the economy.

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