How Is the Market Correlated to the Economy?

July 27, 2020
With unemployment at its highest level in generations and whole sectors struggling, is the stock market really correlated to the economy?

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After you listen

  • Learn more about what the markets are doing and why at
  • Follow Mark Riepe on Twitter: @MarkRiepe.
  • Learn more about what the markets are doing and why at
  • Follow Mark Riepe on Twitter: @MarkRiepe.

Illusory correlations occur when people think a correlation between two variables exists, and that correlation, in reality, either isn't there at all, or it's much weaker than is commonly believed. One illusory correlation that affects investors right now is the correlation (or the lack thereof) between the performance of the economy and the performance of the stock market.

Which indicators really help investors understand the state of the market and the direction of the economy? In this episode, Mark Riepe interviews Schwab's chief investment strategist, Liz Ann Sonders. Mark and Liz Ann discuss leading and lagging indicators, illusory correlations, how investors can measure valuation and prices in the market over the short term and long term, and other issues.

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Correlation is a statistical measure of how two investments have historically moved in relation to each other, and ranges from -1 to +1. A correlation of 1 indicates a perfect positive correlation, while a correlation of -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation. A correlation of zero means the assets are not correlated.

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