I hope this letter finds you well and staying safe and healthy. I would like to thank everyone for their care and concern last week due to the fires in Orange County, all of us here at Apriem are safe with no damage to any of our homes. With the fires contained, we are still facing challenges with the continued rise in coronavirus cases, and stay-at-home orders being imposed again throughout many states. Yet, during this season of hope, a vaccine is about to be distributed and the market remains resilient.
After many months of anticipation, Pfizer-BioNTech’s experimental vaccine, to fight the novel coronavirus, should be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in the U.S. by the end of today. They are one of two vaccines seeking emergency use, the other being Oxford-AstraZeneca. On Tuesday, the United Kingdom, began distributing Pfizer’s vaccines to the public, with 90-year-old Margaret Keenan becoming the world’s first person to receive Pfizer’s vaccine outside of trial conditions. The U.K. approved the vaccine for emergency use last week. Canada is the third country to approve Pfizer’s vaccine, after the U.K. and Bahrain, and will begin distributing to the public next week. Once the vaccine is approved for use in the United States, the first to receive the vaccine will be adults over 80 and frontline healthcare workers.
The rolling out of the vaccines could not have come at a better time, with the number of hospitalizations and fatalities being at an all-time high throughout the U.S. Yesterday, both reached record highs of over 3,100 deaths and over 106,000 hospitalizations. With more than 221,000 of new cases reported in one day – this could inevitably lead to an increase of both. Please see chart below, for most recent data:
With the continued rise in cases more states have imposed stay-at-home orders. These new restrictions on business activity have led to more jobless claims than originally anticipated. The Labor Department reported new unemployment claims came in at 853,000, well above the expected 725,000. These are the most claims since September. Today, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement for a new coronavirus relief package to help aid Americans impacted by the pandemic. The House of Representatives passed a one-week government funding extension to buy more time to reach an agreement.
Stocks ended mixed in today’s session after jobless claims rose and states imposed new restrictions brought on by the wave of coronavirus cases throughout the country. The month of November ended with the three major market indices finishing with major monthly gains. The Dow posted a monthly gain of 11.9%. The S&P 500 tracked toward a rise of about 10.7%, and the Nasdaq posted an 11.9% gain in November, which were each the best gains since April this year. In addition, November turned out to be the best month for both the S&P and the Dow since early 1987.
The invite for Part 2: Your Wealth Engine webinar of our Apriem Wealth Building Series with Christopher Whitaker and Megan Schwab went out earlier this week. The webinar will be next Tuesday, December 15th from 3PM – 4PM. Please click here to read more and register. The video of Part 1: The Language of Finance will be on our website, www.apriem.com, for playback.
As always, please call our office toll free at (888) 253-0288 or email Sunni@apriem.com to schedule your year-end review.
Looks like we are all home for the holidays!