Good Afternoon,

I hope you all were able to enjoy the long weekend last week. This week has been relatively quiet in the news, but what has not been quiet is the Delta variant of Covid-19 as new cases rise and new restrictions are coming into play once again. The markets have lagged this past week with skepticism over the strength of the U.S. economy. As we head into this upcoming weekend, I would like to take a moment to remember the events of 9/11 that changed our country forever and never forget the heroism of that day.

Many of us had hoped that by now the COVID-19 pandemic would be a distant memory, this is not the case with the Delta variant continuing to infect many people and the Mu variant is not far behind. As of yesterday, the average number of coronavirus deaths across the U.S. was 1,524 compared to 509 deaths just a month ago. Many states have gone back to requiring wearing masks and showing proof of vaccination or negative Covid-19 tests before attending large events. President Biden is expected to sign an order today requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated without the option of regular Covid testing to opt-out of the mandate. This is a new six-part strategy to combat the delta variant. The six areas of focus will be: vaccinating the unvaccinated, furthering protection for the vaccinated, keeping schools safely open, increasing testing, requiring masking, protecting the economy’s recovery, and improving care for those who have contracted the disease.

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, a day that our country will never forget. On that morning, four commercial airliners traveling from the northeastern United States to California were hijacked during the flight by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. The goal of these terrorists was to crash each plane into a prominent American building, causing mass casualties and partial or complete destruction to these iconic buildings. Almost 3,000 innocent people were killed. These attacks triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism. What the hijackers did not anticipate was the resilience of the American people to come together to help rebuild our country and heal our wounds. I hope everyone can take a moment on 9/11 to remember all the lives lost on this day and the heroes who saved so many.

The biggest headline affecting markets was last week’s disappointing jobs report. As of last Friday, all major indexes have posted consecutive losses with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq receding by (-1.0%), (-2.2%), and (-0.5%), respectively. Although the Friday jobs report data missed estimates by a significant margin, investors did not seem phased as major indexes finished the day flat. The jobs miss now casts a shadow over the central bank’s timeline of the reduction of their monthly asset purchases. The next Fed meeting is now less than two weeks away. Investors will be on the lookout for any changes in Fed official’s stance on the economic recovery.

If you have not already done so, please sign up for our next virtual seminar, 5 Common Reasons to Update an Estate Plan with Tiffany K. Chiu, Esq. from T. Chiu Law, on September 28, 2021, at 1 p.m. Click here to register and learn more.

Never Forget,

Rhonda Ducote