The COVID-19 Timeline: What was known or knowable and what did the market say?

COVID-19 Timeline, S&P 500 Index % change, spread over the US Treasury Note, December 2019 to April 2022

Sources: S&P Capital IQ, Yahoo Finance, Duff & Phelps, James R. Hitchner’s Valuation Products and Services and CMAJ News.

Richter’s COVID-19 timeline plots local and world events together with a depiction of the volatility of the S&P 500 stock index as well as the spread of publicly traded BBB corporate bonds over US treasury notes. The rebound of the stock and credit markets following the low in March 2020 was largely bolstered by remarkable government stimulus, particularly in Canada and the US. The level of funding provided and the impact on the economic environment could not have been predicted at the outset of the pandemic. It is difficult to predict the level of government stimulus that will persist and its impact on corporations, industries and the macro economic climate.

During April 2022, we witnessed the S&P 500 stock index’s steep decline following different economical announcements from the US and Canadian governments. This occurs contemporaneously with the following:

  • The continuation of the sixth wave of the COVID-19 virus, despite the successful rollout of vaccines in many countries
  • Concerns related to Omicron and its subvariants ebb and flow, as COVID-19 restrictions taper off in certain parts of the world.
  • Inflationary pressures continue to be fueled by high consumer demand for goods coupled with sustained supply chain disruption
  • The central bank gradually increasing interest rates throughout 2022 to combat sustained inflationary pressure
  • Increase in value of safe currencies, including US dollar and Japanese Yen, and prices of certain commodities, including gold, oil, natural gas, corn and wheat

This timeline was compiled by Richter LLP’s Business Valuation and Dispute Advisory Group. A similar version was published in the CBV Institute’s Journal of Business Valuation (November 2020 edition), Section 05, Page 111, “Repricing Risk in the Times of COVID-19”


Contact Persons: Alana Geller, CPA, CA, CBV, CFF, and Brett Miller, CPA, CA, CBV, MBA