The stock market isn’t the economy.
You’ve probably heard that saying before, but it’s never been as true as it is today. The U.S. economy is reeling in a crisis of proportions not seen since the Great Depression. Twenty-two million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last four weeks, effectively erasing 10 years of job gains. Retail sales plunged in March, and small businesses exhausted the $350 billion in funding from the Paycheck Protection Program in less than two weeks.
However, the stock market is suddenly soaring. After plunging for about a month while the coronavirus outbreak spread to Europe and then the U.S., the S&P 500 suddenly reversed course after hitting bottom on March 23. Since then, the broad market has surged by as much as 31%, posting record gains along the way as the index had its best week since 1974 earlier in April.