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This Week’s Market Commentary


The Fed’s “lower-for-even longer” pledge fails to soothe stocks


2020 U.S. elections: Uncertainty? Yes. Opportunities? Also yes

Nuveen’s Global Investment Committee presents policy scenarios for the two most likely outcomes and shares our views about the best opportunities across asset classes heading into election season. 

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Hi everyone, it's Brian Nick, Chief Investment Strategist for Nuveen.

Back in March, we were as surprised as anybody to be talking about marching headlong into an economic recession and into, perhaps, the worst healthcare crisis the world has seen, in modern history.

And we're almost as surprised to be here in June, having observed that the recession, though extremely deep, was also relatively short lived and most of the world is able to reopen and get back to economic expansion.

At the same time as financial markets have, if anything, gotten out ahead of the economic recovery and largely recovered their losses from the first part of the year, though, not perhaps fully, just yet.

So whether you've been an investor that's been in with us the whole time, kind of bobbing up and down on the waves or you've been standing on the beach looking for a good time to wade in.

I think the most important question we have to answer is what comes next?

And that's really the crux of our 2020 outlook.

We talked about a lot of things at our global investment committee meeting in June. Chief among them, which changes that we've seen since the start of the coronavirus crisis are likely to be permanent versus which are fleeting or temporary.

One thing we we've seen for sure is the trend that we already knew was happening towards e-commerce online spending, probably even being moved on a bit faster, put into overdrive by the fact that so many people found themselves home during the months of March, April and at least parts of May.

So that trend is likely to continue, if not speed up.

One trend that we think may be on the verge of reversing is the trend towards smaller and smaller square footage of office space, per worker, which had been a global trend for decades now, that seems likely to reverse. Even if people aren't in the office as much, when they do come in, they're gonna need more space. And that team space, that collaboration space is gonna need to be designed in a more flexible way.

So that's a trend we think is probably going the other way.

One trend we don't think is going away, lower interest rates for a lot longer.

Central banks are credibly committed to keeping interest rates quite low for, not just a few quarters, but for years on end.

The Federal Reserve has no plans to even raise interest rates even as late as 2022, according to their last statement.

And so investors need to confront the fact that generating income from a portfolio is going to be extremely challenging, even more challenging than it's been for the last decade, following the financial crisis, in the next decade, in the 2020s. We think there's a number of ways to deal with this.

It's a multi-asset approach. It's discipline and selectivity in fixed income.

It's developing an income approach in an equity portfolio and a diversified approach to owning real assets and real estate.

We have a lot more to say about all this in our Nuveen 20/20 Midyear Outlook. Hope you enjoy.


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