I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and was able to spend time with their loved ones. Disney has been in the spotlight this week with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pushing to revoke their unique self-governing status at their Orlando theme parks and surrounding areas, Disney character Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has taken the stand to defend his honor and finally the mask mandates have been lifted on public transportation. There has been no mousing around this week.
This week the feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney has escalated. On Tuesday, DeSantis asked Florida lawmakers to eliminate the exclusive status that allows Disney to operate as an independent government around its Orlando theme parks. Republican lawmakers quickly delivered by advancing a bill which targets Disney over its objections to a new law limiting classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity and pausing political donations in Florida. The bill is to dissolve the 55-year-old Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which was a unique Florida law that helped to establish Walt Disney World in the state. This act covers all Disney properties near Orlando and allows them to self-manage land within these boundaries. They provide their own public services such as police and firefighting. There were also significant tax advantages for Disney with this arrangement. Yesterday, the Florida Senate voted 23 to 16 to roll back the privileges starting in June of next year. It is unclear of what the potential impact will be on Disney World.
Speaking of Disney and its characters, Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is in court this week battling his ex-wife, Amber Heard. He is suing Heard for $50 million in a defamation lawsuit he filed against her. The actor is suing over a Washington Post essay she wrote in 2018 claiming that she was a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Although, Depp is never mentioned in the article by name it indirectly refers to allegations she had made against him during their divorce in 2016. The trial is expected to go on for several weeks.
On Monday, the U.S. mask mandate ended for public transit two weeks sooner than the expected May 3rd due date due to a new court order. Recently the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) had extended the expiration date for masks on planes and other public transportation by 15 days. The federal mandate required travelers to wear masks on planes, trains, buses, subways, and other forms of public transit. The requirement has now ended due to U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle declaring it unlawful because the agency did not explain its reasoning for the mandate or allow any public comment before issuing it. It was effective immediately, and most airlines have made face coverings optional on their airlines, however some airports, cities, states, and countries may still require masks.
As company earnings continue to come in, we’ve seen some volatility. With the expectation that earnings would come in weaker for the first quarter, there have been noticeable positive earnings surprises. For example, during an earnings call with United Airlines’ CEO, he claimed that he has never seen such strong demand in his career. Investors will be keeping a close eye as earnings season continues, particularly Big Tech which is reporting next week. Today, the Fed reiterated that a 0.50% interest rate hike is on the table for the May meeting. They also stated that they will continue to pay close attention to the data as it comes in. For the week, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq have moved -1.18%, +0.68%, and -3.44%, respectively, as of today’s close.
Our webinar is next week, and the topic is on “A New Generation of Advising: Foundational Asset Management” with Landon Yoshida, CRPC®, AIF® and Joshua Garland, ChFC®, AIF®. It will take place next Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 1pm. Click here to Register and Learn more. The playback video for our last webinar on “Crypto: We’re De-Finally Talking About It” is available on our website. Click here to watch.
Your quarterly reports were delivered to your portal or mailed last week. Please call our office at (949) 253-8888 or email Michelle Campos at Michelle@apriem.com to schedule your quarterly review with your Wealth Manager to go over your portfolio. Since our office is still undergoing construction, we are not able to have in-person meetings at our Irvine location during this time. We are hoping to return to the office by the end of this month.
Take care and have a great weekend!
Rhonda Ducote, AIF®
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