Winter is finally here and so is the vaccine. This week, Pfizer’s vaccine rolled out for emergency use, Moderna is close behind for approval, stimulus talks are promising, and the market continues to react positively to this good news.
Across the nation, Pfizer’s vaccine is being distributed to states and ready to give the first doses to recipients. This is a huge feat. It used to take years, decades even, to be able to make a safe and effective vaccine against other novel viruses and diseases. Sandra Lindsay, a nurse from New York City, was the first American to receive the Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials. The U.S. reached another milestone, with the death toll reaching 300,000. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is voting today to decide whether to approve Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use. If approval is granted, the vaccine could be administered as early as next week.
As of today, Congress is still in negotiations for a $900 billion Covid-19 stimulus package, but they are optimistic that they are close to a deal. This package will include direct payments of approximately $600 in stimulus checks to individuals, unemployment benefits of $300 per week, about $325 billion for small businesses and money for transportation, vaccine distribution, and schools. Although the deal has not been sealed, and government funding is set to expire on Friday (meaning Congress may have to pass a short-term resolution to keep the government open past Friday) ,lawmakers are hopeful that talks will be able to continue throughout the weekend.
Stocks closed at record levels today. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both hit intraday and closing records, with the Dow posting its highest-ever closing level. The main driver of the market is hope that Washington will come through with a stimulus package before the end of 2020. Initial jobless claims rose unexpectedly for the second straight week, coming in at 885,000 vs. 818,000. This can be attributed to the stay-in-place restrictions that have limited business activity due to the increase of coronavirus hospitalizations and fatalities throughout the U.S.
Thank you to everyone who joined Chris and Megan for Part 2 of the Apriem Wealth Building Series on Tuesday. If you were unable to attend, the video will be posted on our website soon. The invite for Part 3: Advanced Wealth Hacks, went out yesterday and will be on January 6th from 3 PM – 4 PM. Please call our office to register.
If you have not already done so, please schedule a virtual year-end review with your wealth manager by calling our office at (888) 253-0888 or email Sunni@apriem.com.