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Investing Specialists

Weekly Wrap: Coronavirus Forecasts, Fund Flows, and Ratings Changes

We recap the week on and note the most popular stocks, funds, and exchange-traded funds.

Editor's note: Read the latest on how the coronavirus is rattling the markets and what investors can do to navigate it.

Editor's Picks
Coronavirus Vaccine Progress Accelerates
Diagnostic testing, treatment, and a coronavirus vaccine could allow near-normal distancing and nonessential business recovery by mid-2021.

Projecting Coronavirus' Long-Run Economic Impact
We've updated our near-term GDP forecast and look to previous recessions for longer-term guidance.

RMDs Aren't Required for 2020. What Should You Do?
Tim Steffen talks about about how retired investors can handle RMDs this year.

April Fund Flows Reflect Rebound as Investors Look for Opportunities
Taxable-bond funds bounced back, but one fund family took a large hit in outflows.

Ratings Changes for Vanguard, and a New ESG ETF to Consider
Here's a look at some of the funds that earned upgrades and suffered downgrades last month.

The Best Target-Date Series
A surprise retirement and our updated methodology lead to a shakeup of series with Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Gold.

Portfolio Planning and Personal Finance With Christine Benz
A Thrift Savings Plan Update
The retirement savings plan for government workers is superb, but some of the coming changes are overdue.

Are IRA Conversions a Good Idea During Volatility?
Pimco's Tim Steffen discusses some considerations to bear in mind before converting.

Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Waiting often makes sense, but your actual mileage may vary.

Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds
For Bond Funds, Is Core-Plus Really a Minus?
This year's turbulent fixed-income market sheds some light on the limitations of intermediate core-plus bond funds.

Hands-On Tactical Bond Strategies
Three strategies to consider, and two to avoid.

Is Guaranteed Income the Next Frontier for Target-Date Funds?
The SECURE Act opens the door for annuities in target-date funds.

There Is a Better Way to Push for Better Labeling of ETPs
I agree with the spirit of the ETP industry coalition's proposal, but not the specifics.

Who Won, or Lost, in the Bond Fund Sell-Off
Eric Jacobson discusses which bond funds came out of the recent sell-off as winners, and which ones didn't fare so well.

2 Attractive Drugmakers With Secure Dividends
Necessity means dividends are very secure for drugmakers.

Relaxing the Lockdown: Move Slowly, Stay Nimble
Our coronavirus infection and fatality assumptions have edged down as we settle closer to control.

4 More Stocks That Top Managers Have Been Buying
Managers from Diamond Hill and Dodge & Cox picked up some consumer stocks during the market meltdown.

Meat Processing Disruptions, Price Inflation to Continue
Our analyst examines the food supply chain, restaurant sales, and attractive shares for one name.

Stock Analyst Updates
What PNC Financial Sale Means for BlackRock
We are not making any changes to our fair value estimate or moat rating for BlackRock.

Uber Interested in GrubHub, but No Deal Reached Yet
If an agreement is reached, the deal likely will face regulatory and antitrust barriers.

Cisco's Cost Management Balances Out Revenue Headwinds
We are maintaining our fair value estimate and view shares as undervalued.

Rekenthaler Report
Stock Market Signals, Then Versus Now
Clues from the largest-company lists.

Active Management's Dilemma
How to do something different, without doing something bad?

Advisor Insights
Who Qualifies for Coronavirus-Related Distributions?
There are plenty of gray areas in the CARES Act's language about CRDs, says contributor Natalie Choate.

The Long View
Carl Richards: 'Let's Focus on Being a Little Less Wrong Tomorrow'
'The Sketch Guy' discusses the value of asking the right questions, how placing small bets is less daunting than setting goals, and finding 'enough.'

Sustainability Matters
There's Ample Room for Sustainable Investing to Grow in the U.S.
Sustainable fund investing is much more robust in Europe. How will the United States catch up?

The Short Answer
How to Avoid Paying Extra Taxes on Your College Refund
529 withdrawal rules may cause you to pay extra if you're not careful.

Before You Sell Anything in Your 401(k), Read This
We think stocks will eventually recover from this downturn, and investors shouldn't wait on the sidelines until they do.

Seeking Financial Information? Keep Your Rules in Mind
Make decisions methodological, instead of attention- and emotion-driven.

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