Good Afternoon Valued Clients, Friends and Family,

This week several states have found themselves in hot water. New York Governor Cuomo is being asked to resign, California Governor Newsom might be facing a recall, and midwestern and southern states are Delta’s new hot spots.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Letitia James released a report alleging that Governor Andrew Cuomo had violated federal and state laws by sexually harassing almost a dozen women. Cuomo continues to deny the allegations; however, he has lost support from many fellow Democrats. President Biden called on the New York governor to resign. Another governor facing hot water is California’s Gavin Newsom. Californians will vote in September whether or not to recall the governor. Organizers are dissatisfied with his leadership. Some of the key issues are phasing out gasoline-powered cars by 2035, rolling power outages to prevent wildfires, and his handling of the coronavirus.

The Delta variant is spreading like wildfire throughout midwestern and southern states. The rate of Covid-19 cases in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida are among the highest in the country, and their vaccination rates are among the lowest. Even though there is a rise in coronavirus cases, overall numbers are much lower than the pandemic high. Earlier this week, NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio, issued a mandate stating that employees and patrons will have to show proof of being vaccinated from Covid-19 for indoor dining, gyms and entertainment. This mandate goes into effect August 16th.

It’s been a comeback week for equity markets. Since last Friday’s close, the S&P 500 grew 0.5%, the Nasdaq increased 1.5%, and the Dow is up a modest 0.1%. You can say much of the focus for this week has been on jobs. In the middle of the week, the markets had retreated due to ADP’s monthly employment report coming far below consensus estimates (330,000 actual versus 695,000 expected). This drop in new hires had investors questioning the pace of the recovery and how this would impact monetary policy decisions. However, today, the markets rebounded on an uptick in domestic demand for products (from a spike in imports) paired with strong corporate earnings which have helped boost overall sentiment. As for upcoming news, we await Friday’s jobs report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which could align with what we saw in ADP’s report yesterday.

The Tokyo Olympics is nearing the end and the closing ceremony is this Sunday. A big congratulations to all the athletes who competed and represented their countries.

Have a great weekend and stay cool!


Rhonda Ducote