Good Afternoon,

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the global pandemic COVID-19 and Americans were impacted from sea to shining sea. However, we are on the mend with additional stimulus, increased vaccine production, and the resilience of the markets.

After months of negotiations, Congress officially passed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill on Wednesday with President Biden signing the bill into action earlier today. Also known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) it will include some of the following provisions:

  • $1,400 direct payments to individuals making up to $75,000 annually
  • $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, with California, Texas and New York receiving 29%
  • $14 billion for vaccine distribution
  • $130 billion to elementary, middle and high schools to assist with safe reopening
  • $300 billion in weekly jobless benefits through September
  • Expanded tax credit of up to $3,600 per child
  • More than $50 billion to small business including $7 billion to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

This bill comes on the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.

Last year, the U.S. government made a deal with Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) to produce 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine. Yesterday, the Biden administration announced that they plan to buy an additional 100 million doses to help build up U.S. stock later in the year. Should we continue vaccinating at this rate, the adult population (approximately 260 million) could be fully vaccinated within six months. The CDC released new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. Those who have waited two weeks after their last dose can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without masks or physical distancing. They can also gather without masks indoors with unvaccinated individuals from a single household who are not at high risk for severe COVID-19.

The market closed today’s trading session, with the S&P 500 and Dow reaching record highs. Since last Friday, the NASDAQ is up 3.8%, the Dow is up 3.1%, and the S&P 500 is up 2.6%. Following the last two weeks of market volatility, broad stock markets have been in recovery mode. Yesterday, inflation rose from the previous month to 1.7%, lifted by the increase in energy prices. Today, jobless claims came in better than expected at 712,000 falling from last week’s 754,000. This shows a positive development in the job market.

This week, Southern California was hit with much needed rainstorms, but with this rain came damaging mudslides. Last year, the Bond Fire and Silverado Fire broke out from Santa Ana winds that destroyed vegetation and destabilizing soil that cannot easily absorb rain. An evacuation order was issued for residents in Silverado and parts of Modjeska and Williams canyons. As many of you know, I live in Silverado Canyon, but fortunately we have not been affected by the mudslides. Thank you to everyone who reached out to check on me.

Please let us know if you have not received your 2020 tax documents, we can email or send them to you. Tax Day is right around the corner, so if you still need to make your 2020 Retirement contributions the cut-off is April 15th. Let us know if we can assist you in any way with these transactions. As always, if you would like to schedule a ZOOM or conference call review, please call our office (949) 253-8888 or email Sunni Allen at Sunni@apriem.com.

Hope to see you soon!

Rhonda Ducote
President