20 Takeaways from an Unprecedented Year

2020 will go down in history books for many reasons, many of which we would rather forget. We wanted to highlight 20 facts of 2020 (in no particular order). Many of these noteworthy facts/events were the result of the pandemic and some had no relationship but remind us about the year where little surprised us.

  1. SARS-CoV-2 – AKA COVID -19: At 1.69 million global deaths, COVID-19 is on pace to surpass the Asian flu (1957-1958) to be the second deadliest influenza pandemic.1
  2. Global Lockdown –In April, half of the world’s population were issued stay-at-home orders.
  3. Record Wildfires – Wildfires in the Western U.S. shattered records, burning more than 9 million acres.
  4. Hurricanes Expand to Greek Names – There were so many storms in 2020 that forecasters had to use the Greek Alphabet for the second time in history.
  5. Civil Unrest – More than 10,000 demonstrations were held in the U.S. over a three-month period, with attendance that shattered all U.S. historic demonstration records.2
  6. Record Voter Turnout – The 2020 Presidential election had the highest voter turnout since at least 1900. In fact, the candidate that lost received more votes than any other sitting President in history.
  7. Record Bear and Bull Markets – The S&P 500 saw its fastest move into bear market territory in history and fastest move out of it in history.
  8. Fastest/Record-setting Stimulus – The U.S. government passed the largest fiscal stimulus package in the fastest amount of time (over $2 trillion in one month).
  9. Negative Yielding Debt – The amount of negative yielding global debt hit a record high (nearly $18 trillion).
  10. Monetary Support – The Fed purchased all forms of debt, including high yield debt, for the first time in history.
  11. Mortgage Rates Plummet – 30-YR mortgage rate hit a record low (2.85%).
  12. Oil Negative – Due to a supply glut, oil futures fell into negative territory for the first time in history. Producers paid traders to take possession of oil.
  13. GDP Record Drop and Recovery – GDP fell at the fastest pace on record and posted a record recovery (2Q and 3Q).
  14. Fastest Vaccine Ever – COVID Operation Warp Speed led to the fastest vaccine created in history. The prior fastest was the mumps vaccine, which took 4 years.
  15. Cyber Pandemic With the world virtual, cyber attacks surged. The FBI noted cyber attacks were up 800% compared to prior to the pandemic.
  16. Zoom Takes Over – The market cap of Zoom overtook the market cap of Southwest Airlines, Delta Air, United Airlines and American Air combined.(sup>3
  17. Passing the Time – The pandemic reignited the trading card industry. Sales rose 250% during the pandemic to a record high.4 A Lebron James card sold for $1.845 million, the most expensive basketball card ever.
  18. Electric Cars –  The rising concern about climate change contributed to Tesla becoming the worlds most valuable car maker, overtaking Toyota.
  19. Hotels hit Hard – Hotel occupancy in the U.S. dropped to 24% in April.
  20. Year of Acronyms – The FAANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) saw their market cap exceed the GDP of Japan and the United Kingdom combined.

Footnotes: 1. As of December 18, 2020. 2. Per ACLED and Wikipedia Research. 3 Bloomberg Finance LP,  4. Per Sporting News as of October 31, 2020.