It has been a stormy week to say the least, and I am not only talking about the weather. Severe cold weather hit Texas leaving millions without power, the market traded lower with jobless claims, and former President Donald Trump was acquitted for the second time.
This week, an “unprecedented” winter storm brought freezing temperatures, snow, and icy roads to the central U.S., with Texas withstanding the worst of the storm. At one point, 4.3 million Texans were without power due to the power grid collapsing from the spike in demand. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be supplying generators, water, and blankets to the state of Texas. These states are not out of the woods yet, as another storm targets much of the South, Midwest, and Northeast this coming weekend. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by these devastating storms.
Stocks slid during Thursday’s trading session following a Labor Department report showing jobless claims in the U.S. rose more than expected. Last week, first-time unemployment claims totaled 861,000, the highest level in a month and above the Dow Jones survey estimate of 773,000. Investors are starting to factor in the economic impact of a stimulus plan estimated to be as much as $1.9 trillion, causing Treasury bond yields to rise. If inflation picks up and Treasury yields continue to rise, they could be a strong headwind for the stock markets.
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The second-round of 2020 tax documents are being generated by Schwab. You will either receive them in the mail in the next couple of weeks or you can download from www.Schwab.com. If you still need to make your 2020 Retirement contributions (i.e., IRA, SEP, etc.) the cut-off is April 15th. Let us know if we can assist you in any way with these transactions.