Growing turmoil from the spread of the coronavirus has driven a sharp increase in volatility and a risk-off trade as uncertainty permeates global markets. To help make sense of the unfolding events, we are providing you with our latest insights and resources from our teams around the world, including:

  • How our 2020 outlook is evolving in the face of growing market volatility and uncertainty
  • What it could mean for GDP expectations, and how the economy can get back on track
  • Where we see pockets of opportunity in the equity and fixed-income markets

The resources on this page will be updated frequently so please check back regularly.

Market Volatility Conference Call Replays and Audiocasts

Listen to replays of our recent conference calls and on-demand audiocasts, with updates from our economists, market experts and portfolio managers.

Preparing Chinese Holdings for Potential US Action

Tensions between the US and China are flaring up again. With pressure mounting on Chinese stocks listed in the US, including those widely held in emerging-market portfolios, investors need to consider how to prepare for the mounting risks.

Why Have Chinese Stocks Held Up So Well?

Chinese stocks have been resilient this year because of relatively modest earnings downgrades amid an early recovery from the virus-induced shock.

Why Fallen Angels Can Be a Good Catch

For investors who can hold them, owning some angels after they’ve fallen may make sense.

How Will the Coronavirus Change the Role of Central Banks?

COVID-19 has supplied the catalyst for a secular change in the role of central banks. Providing governments with ammunition to fight the virus is now the overriding goal, and this means keeping bond yields pinned close to zero for the foreseeable future.

Credit Risk-Transfer Securities: Finding the Way Forward

Despite its recent rebound, CRTs’ recovery continues to trail the sharper recovery of other markets. This suggests the sector has more upside potential.

Can Smaller Stocks Recover from Coronavirus Blow?

Small-cap stocks were hit hard in the coronavirus sell-off. But select smaller companies with innovative advantages could offer a surprising source of diversification for the uncertain times ahead.

US Retail Innovators to Prosper in Post-Coronavirus Recovery

Economic fallout from the pandemic is devastating US retail. But companies that were already adapting well to seismic changes in the industry should prosper over time.

The Market and Negative US Rates: Right Idea, Wrong Tool

The Fed continues to dismiss the idea of negative US rates but the market keeps pricing them in. We don’t expect negative rates: in our view, the market is using them as a proxy for Fed measures that may be needed but aren’t yet identified.

Crisis Dashboard: Big Data Helps Paint the Big Picture (Update)

Many investors are looking for emerging signs of a return to normalcy from the coronavirus crisis. While there are many indicators to choose from, we’ve assembled a group of signals, with the help of big data, that may point the way.

Decisions, Fast and Slow

Many human decisions are driven by impulses known as heuristics, such as the simple-and-familiar bias. When mental energy is depleted, as during a crisis, advisors may employ this bias to select investment solutions that are easy to explain (simple) and that they’ve used before (familiar).

Using Data Science to Navigate a Viral Crisis

The world is more awash in data than ever before. How can investors wade through all of that to filter out the critical elements and navigate the uncertainty created by the coronavirus? It’s not easy, but can be done by harnessing information from a variety of unique data sources and actively integrating that along with industry expertise.

Global Macro Outlook - May 2020

The global economy faces a massive near-term hit from coronavirus-related lockdowns and social distancing, spurring unprecedented policy measures. They won’t prevent the fearful near-term hit, but they can help lay the foundations for recovery—once the public-health crisis has passed.

What We Can Learn from China’s Rapid Normalization

China is further along the coronavirus curve than much of the rest of the world. What does its path to normal look like, and what are the big unknowns?

Asian Stocks: Value Appeal Revealed in Coronavirus Recovery

Asian businesses are gradually rebooting after governments quelled the initial wave of the pandemic. Conditions may be improving for regional value stocks that were beaten down before and during the pandemic.

Of Hawks and Doves—and Why Neither Is Right

As an advisor, you have protective instincts, so COVID-19 is likely to activate your emotions and push your thinking toward extremes. Your brain is probably searching the world for dangers and building a decidedly negative worldview. Psychologists call this catastrophizing: seeing the future in a negative light. This reduces your ability to sort available information.

Systematic Target-Date Rebalancing: Taking Emotion out of the Equation

The turmoil in the first quarter of 2020 reinforced the importance of rebalancing in target-date design. As we see it, a finely tuned, systematic approach can help keep emotions in check and risk under control—benefits that translate to many types of multi-asset solutions.

Do Healthcare Stocks Protect Portfolios in a Pandemic?

Healthcare stocks usually are defensive for a portfolio during market downturns. Given the extent of the pandemic’s impact, more questions are being asked about the sector’s resilience.

The Coronavirus Policy Wave: When Will the Bill Come Due?

The onslaught of the coronavirus forced the Federal Reserve and lawmakers to take desperately needed measures. The US economy will eventually recover, but the effects of these drastic policy decisions will be felt for a long time.

Conducting Effective Client Reviews in Volatile Markets

A client review meeting during a market downturn may be the most important touch point an advisor has with a client. Get tips from Ken Haman, Managing Director of the AB Advisor Institute, about how to approach a client review in the current environment.

How to Invest in Equities When Guidance Disappears

As an unprecedented number of US companies suspend earnings guidance, equity investors should rethink the overly precise game of predicting short-term estimates.

Corporate Debt: Defaults, Downgrades and Fallen Angels

Coronavirus-led economic uncertainty is forcing downgrades, defaults and fallen angels. Could this spell opportunity for credit investors?

2Q:2020 Capital Markets Outlook Broadcast

The world continues to battle the coronavirus on both the public health and economic fronts. While there is a lot still unknown, we can draw on past downturns for reference and insights into the timing and shape of an eventual recovery. Our Capital Markets Outlook video highlights signposts our teams are watching and where long-term opportunities persist.

Managing Risk Models in the Coronavirus Crisis

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has blindsided conventional risk models. By understanding what went wrong, investors can develop a more forward-looking approach to risk management that considers multiple scenarios for a highly uncertain market environment.

The One Question That Will Help You the Most Today

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused our attention and will likely do so for weeks to come. But taking a longer view and placing the current crisis in context, we can - and should - find reasons for hope amid the crisis.

What Plunging Oil Prices Mean for Energy Bonds

Oil prices briefly turned negative this week. What does it mean for energy bonds? And why does the long view for oil matter more?

Defensive Stocks Redefined in COVID-19 Sell-Off

The market meltdown unleashed by the new coronavirus pandemic has been exceptional in many ways. Investors seeking to bolster defensive positions in portfolios should take a closer look at the performance of specific subindustries, which in some cases has diverged from historical patterns.

Coronavirus and the US Economy: How Big Will the Hit Be?

The decline in US economic activity from social distancing measures and forced shutdowns is likely to be bigger than our initial guess. While we expect a recovery once the coronavirus crisis eases, we don’t have enough information yet to dimension it.

Advice for Advisors: Stop Beating Yourself Up!

There are few things more painful for human beings than feeling uncertain and helpless. Unfortunately, that’s our daily experience now and most likely for a number of weeks. While you can’t undo the past, you can control how you and your clients react to it.

How Municipal Bond Issuers Will Navigate the Crisis

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the Fed’s $500 billion muni facility will provide state and local governments an enormous amount of liquidity and financial support. Here’s how it will help.

Fed Actions May Stabilize Global Corporate Markets

Under the CARES Act, the Fed has expanded supports for corporate bonds. Could this bring a regime shift in volatility for global credit markets?

Coronavirus Crisis Adds Urgency to Sustainable Investing Agenda

Companies with strong ESG credentials will play an essential role in addressing the dramatic changes being triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capital Markets Outlook: 2Q:2020

The first quarter ended with a massive market selloff, driven by worries about the coronavirus and the economic shutdown put in place to stop it. As markets try to dimension the impact and eventual recovery, there are many opportunities for discerning investors.

Global Macro Outlook - April 2020

As economic lockdowns spread across the world, the global economy faces a near-term hit which is likely to dwarf that seen during the global financial crisis (GFC).

Advice for Advisors While Working from Home

Working from home is the new normal for most of us these days. Are you taking mindful action to take advantage of opportunities presented by today’s environment?

Don’t Panic! Bear Market Communication Tips for DC Plan Sponsors

The bear market is challenging defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors to reinforce timeless investing principles while also conveying new rules that bring relief to participants. Good communication practices are a key ingredient to achieving success in both these areas.

Bond Investing as Coronavirus Crisis Intensifies

While the pandemic has destabilized markets, by asking the right questions now and drawing on lessons from past systemic crashes investors can prepare for the challenges ahead.

Coronavirus Shock Reshapes Global Equity Landscape

Most of the bond market sold off in March as the coronavirus crisis intensified. But as past crises have shown, indiscriminate selloffs can generate big opportunities.

Turmoil Leaves Long-Term Municipal Opportunity

The recent market volatility created liquidity-driven stress for the municipal bond market. Hear from our Co-Head of Municipal Portfolio Management about the opportunity available in the current environment.

Advice for Advisors When Things Seem to Be Falling Apart

For financial advisors, the actions you take and the words you share with clients during this unfolding pandemic will likely determine the trajectory of your business over the next few years. See our advice for advisors to help you through the crisis.

CARES Act FAQs for Retirement Plan Advisors and Clients

It’s been called the “bazooka measure” – the government’s latest and largest stimulus package in history. How does it help retirement plan participants and plan sponsors during these volatile and uncertain times? Check out our FAQs for advisors and clients.

Big Market Selloff? Stay Dynamic With Risk Positioning

As risk assets tumbled in late February and March, it intensified the focus on risk management: How can multi-asset strategies defend against turbulence while positioning for an eventual rebound? The answer: Be ready to adapt—and to do it quickly.

Five Investing Perspectives for the Coronavirus Crisis

Following these guidelines can help equity investors navigate the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic when selecting stocks and positioning portfolios.

The Key Part of the US Fiscal Relief Package? Willingness to Act

The historic US fiscal aid package isn’t a quick fix, but it provides welcome relief and will make it easier for the US economy to rebound when the coronavirus crisis eases. More important, it shows that Congress is willing to act swiftly and dynamically.

When Bad News Becomes a Good Thing

Client impulsivity and action, simply for the sake of action, are not good when it comes to making investment decisions. However, in times of panic, a prudent advisor can step in, organize a family’s financial affairs, deliver reassurance and be a calming presence while completing tasks that may have been neglected.

Stress Testing Companies for an Impending Recession

In the midst of a historic crisis, it's hard to see through the fog. But investors who ask the right questions now will be able to identify companies that can make it through.

Five Ways Policymakers Can Fight the Coronavirus

Policymakers cannot avert a big near-term economic hit. But they can build the foundations for recovery—if they take the right steps now.

Remembering Walter Cronkite

Television remains one of the most influential distributors of information and ideas, yet the majority of Americans distrust the reports they get from TV. This distrust may stem from the fact that there is a lot of fear in the news today. How can advisors help clients make sense of the news and help them get back on rational footing?

The Fed Could Roll Out De Facto Fiscal Policy Under Section 13(3)

Conventional wisdom says the Fed is pretty much out of tools to support markets and an economy derailed by the coronavirus. But if things don’t stabilize soon or if the fiscal response is too slow, we expect the Fed to take on broad fiscal-like authority to funnel liquidity into struggling businesses and households.

Where Did All the Toilet Paper Go?

For client-facing financial advisors, understanding how to manage client emotions during volatility is critically important if you want to help them cope with the current situation.

Could US Municipals Suffer as Coronavirus Spreads?

Are municipal bond issuers vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic? We assess key sectors, from states to hospitals to airports.

China's Coronavirus Experience: Lessons for Global Investors

The current market outlook is bleak. But if the US and Europe take the right steps and follow China's playbook, we believe the world could ultimately follow the Chinese markets' road to recovery.

How Can European Policymakers Beat the Coronavirus?

Europe has changed swiftly from spectator to front-line combatant in the battle against the coronavirus. The potential damage from its spread is severe, but European policymakers are reacting robustly to the threat.

How to Manage Client Conversations in Volatile Markets

Market fears are activating investors’ fight-or-flight instincts. These feelings can lead to highly irrational behaviors. Here are some techniques for speaking to clients during these volatile times.

The Fed and Coronavirus: Is Fiscal Help Needed, Too?

With markets reeling from concerns over the coronavirus and plummeting oil prices, the US Federal Reserve took another step Monday to shore up markets. The Fed has more in its toolbox, but fiscal policy may also be needed to fill a gap in the US economy.

How Will the Coronavirus Impact World Economies?

The coronavirus is dominating the news and sparking panic in markets. We believe the options for policymakers are clear—but will they implement them?

Fed May Cut Rates Further to Counter Coronavirus Headwinds

This week’s Fed rate cut helped steady financial markets reeling from the expected impact of the coronavirus on the US economy, and we think more cuts are coming—in March and beyond. The economy should rebound in the second half of the year, though at a lower full-year pace.

US Equity Valuations Rebooted by Coronavirus

Although the outlook for growth and earnings is uncertain amid the coronavirus crisis, attractive stock valuations could create opportunities for high-conviction investors.

Revisiting China’s Equity Markets as Coronavirus Spreads

Growing fears about the coronavirus have hit Chinese stocks. While markets will remain unstable until China gets the outbreak under control, equity investors should revisit lessons from previous epidemics and consider the potential longer-term effects of the current crisis.

Will the Wuhan Coronavirus Infect China’s Economy?

The Wuhan coronavirus is spreading across China, causing disruption, severe illness and even death. In addition to the tragic human cost of an epidemic, widespread disease can cause meaningful macroeconomic damage.

Market Volatility Product Reports (Advisor login required)

View our latest investment reports on assets, yield-to-worst and liquidity.

Other Late-Cycle Insights

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