Good Afternoon,

It was a busy week in the news. California restaurants are reopening for outdoor dining, President Biden’s been signing executive orders, and the markets were driven by various factors.

On Monday, Governor Newsom announced the end of the stay-at-home order and curfew in California. Lifting the stay-at-home order allows places of worship to offer services outside, hair and nail salons may reopen, and restaurants can offer outdoor dining. I am happy to see restaurants in California are going to reopen. The restaurant industry has been hit across the country and their employees have suffered the most. In college, I was a waitress and I can relate to these workers; my heart breaks for them. I relied on tips to pay my rent and monthly bills. To have that stripped away and rely on unemployment is unimaginable. My husband and I enjoy eating out and look forward to going out to dinner this weekend. We hope as more restrictions are lifted; they will be able to open for indoor dining soon.

President Biden signed a series of executive orders to combat the climate crisis, including taking the first step toward banning oil leasing on federal land. Yesterday, he announced a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing, which Republicans greatly oppose. The President wants to keep his campaign promises and is making climate change a central issue for his administration.

Throughout the COVD-19 pandemic, the housing market has been one of the few bright spots in the economy. Existing homes sales through December hit the highest level since 2016. Building permits also ended 2020 at the fastest pace in 14 years.

Unemployment claims came in lower than expected with 847,000 claims filed from the previous week of 914,000. Americans are headed back to work across the country. Many big companies are reporting their earnings this week. Apple (AAPL) posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings and for the first time more than $100 billion quarterly revenues. Simply stunning! Tesla (TSLA) reported its sixth consecutive quarter of profit, but that was below Wall Street’s expectations, down about -3.3% today.
The markets have been on a rollercoaster this week, down -2.5% on Wednesday and up +1% today. The big event yesterday was with GameStop Corp. (GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC). Individual investors trading on platforms, like Robinhood, took on hedge funds who had been shorting these names. Both companies saw enormous gains on Wednesday and then losses today, trading was halted several times throughout the trading day for these companies. We will soon see who wins this war between the two, the deep pockets of hedge fund managers or the millennial day traders.

I hope you find time this weekend to support a local restaurant. Stay safe and healthy. Call our office (888) 253-0288 or email Sunni Allen at Sunni@apriem.com  to schedule a ZOOM review or if you have any questions.

Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you soon!

Rhonda Ducote
President