Good Afternoon Valued Clients, Friends, and Family,
I hope you all had a nice long holiday weekend. It was a beautiful weekend although strange as well. I’m sure many of you, the same as I, was awakened by an alert on my phone for a tsunami warning. This was not a normal alert to receive. On Tuesday, an asteroid was passing by the Earth at the closest it ever has, and during all this the UK decided to lift all mask mandates. Stranger things have happened.
Last Saturday, an underwater volcano erupted off the coast of Tonga, setting off a chain of tsunami warnings and causing strong waves as far as the U.S. The eruption caused a 4-foot tsunami to hit Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, after the eruption. Back here in the U.S., the Pacific Coast, including Alaska and Hawaii, residents were advised to keep away from the coastline, due to possibility of a tsunami. The volcano known as the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, is located about 40 miles north from the small island nation and has been relatively inactive for several years. It began to erupt intermittently in December 2021 but decreased by January 3, 2022.
On Tuesday, an asteroid estimated to be 3,451 feet wide passed by Earth. It passed within 1.2 million miles of our planet. This is the closest an asteroid will come to our planet for the next two centuries. It was moving at 47,344 miles per hour according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies. This program tracks potentially hazardous comets and asteroids that could collide with our planet. This asteroid known as 7482 was discovered in 1994 was not expected to hit the Earth but stranger things have happened.
Here in the U.S., most cities reinstated different restrictions to help combat the Omicron variant, but strangely enough, across the pond in the United Kingdom, most legal restrictions will be lifted. Boris Johnson, Britain’s Prime Minister told British Parliament that the restrictions will be lifted beginning next week, including face masks will no longer be mandatory anywhere in England. That same day, the Biden Administration launched its free coronavirus delivery website, COVIDTests.gov, for Americans to get Covid tests sent directly to their homes. The site has a button that will take you to an online form to order four at-home tests per household. They will begin to ship late January via the United States Postal Service. With the surge in Omicron Covid cases, individuals are having a tough time finding at-home tests at stores, let alone finding a finding an appointment to get a Covid test at a testing site. Click here to order yours now if you have not done so already. The government announced yesterday, that starting next week they will make 400 million N95 masks available to Americans for free. They are hoping these programs will help curb the latest increase of coronavirus infections in the U.S.
Despite the less than rosy conditions – rising interest and mortgage rates – the last couple of days, the housing market appears to be unbothered. Housing starts/permits reached levels not seen since March 2020. Homebuyers are rushing to get their dream home regardless of high prices. Such impressive housing data is encouraging as homebuyers contribute greatly to a robust economy – especially after a week of selling on Wall Street. The 10-year Treasury tapped 1.9%, reaching its highest level in two years. Higher rates mean stunted growth for technology and consumer discretionary companies and when cheap capital to expand business dries up, investors see less return. However, housing is a valuable metric when determining the overall strength of the economy and provides optimism in the months to come. As of last week Friday, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq are down – 3.7%, – 3.8%, and – 4.4%, respectively.
Our office continues to be under construction and we are not having in-person meetings at our Irvine location currently. Please call our office at (888) 253-0288 or email Michelle Campos at Michelle@apriem.com at to schedule a meeting with your Wealth Manager. Michelle is one of our new Administrative Assistants that was added to our team back in November of last year. We are very excited to have her on board and we can’t wait for you to meet her when we reopen our Irvine offices in mid-February.
Apriem Advisors will be closing early tomorrow, January 21, 2022, at 1pm for our company retreat.
Have a great weekend!
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