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 August 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 August 2022, we continued to witness the S&P 500 stock index’s decline resulting from the deteriorating economic outlook in North America and worldwide. This occurs contemporaneously with the following:

  • Looming concerns of a recession in Canada, US and other countries
  • Unemployment rates increase in Canada and US from sustained lows in previous months
  • Governments continued loosening sanitary measures following successful rollout of vaccines in many countries, coupled with increased COVID-19 case counts and new variants
  • Continued concerns and uncertainties around the Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine
  • 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.
  • Decrease in the price of commodities including gold, copper, oil and gas, wheat and others, resulting from looming recessionary concerns and increased fixed income yields.

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