U.S. stocks turned in a second consecutive quarter of dramatic gains, continuing a historic stock market recovery that few predicted in the depths of the March downturn. The S&P and Nasdaq Composite scored a string of records in the third quarter which has confounded many investors with its sheer velocity and strength.
When this quarter began, the stock market was just beginning to pick itself up from one of the worst
and quickest declines in history. The 34% decline from February 19 to March 23 this year was an
indication of just how weak the economy would be in the second quarter.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT (CARES Act) on March 27, 2020. The bill provides financial aid for individuals and companies. The CARES Act also has provisions allowing access to retirement savings and suspension of required minimum distributions.