Good Afternoon Valued Clients, Friends and Family,

With the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, this week has brought good news. More Americans are getting vaccinated and receiving checks, the market is making waves, and the federal tax deadline has been extended. There seem to be greener pastures ahead.

St. Patrick’s Day or the Feast of St. Patrick, is a day of homage to Saint Patrick, a 5th century missionary in Ireland. Surprisingly, he was not of Irish descent, but was born to a Romano-British family. It is celebrated on March 17th, the anniversary of his death. It was primarily celebrated in Ireland but has since become a global event for people to celebrate Irish culture with parades, music, dancing, drinking, and of course, a whole lot of green.

Keeping with the good news, on Monday, President Biden announced his administration was on target to reach two main goals by March 25th: the distribution of 100 million shots of COVID-19 vaccines since his inauguration, and 100 million stimulus payments to Americans. More than 20% of the U.S. has received at least one vaccine dose. States are beginning to broaden their list of eligible people to get a shot. Payments for those eligible will continue to go out in the coming weeks through direct deposit, checks, and prepaid debit cards.

Moderna, one of the first companies to distribute vaccines, began testing its coronavirus vaccine on children and infants. If these trials are successful, teenagers could have access to the COVID-19 vaccines in the fall, with young children following early next year. Dr. Stephen Hoge, President of Moderna, said that this new trial will involve nearly 7,000 children from ages 6 months to 12 years. They have no evidence that it is unsafe for children to receive their mRNA vaccine. A separate ongoing study, that began in December, was testing the vaccine on adolescents between 12 and 17 years old. They are hoping to have conclusive data by summer so children in that age group can be vaccinated before returning to school in the fall.

Major indices ended Thursday with very mixed signals. The Dow ended up 0.4% for the week, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both finished down 0.7% and 1.5%, respectively. A clear sign that investors continue to sell out of the headline tech companies. The primary concern continues to be the risk of higher inflation in the coming years. The Fed’s comments on continuing to support the economy alongside further fiscal stimulus is contributing to these concerns.

Yesterday, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the federal income tax deadline for the 2020 tax year has been pushed to Monday, May 17, 2021. This will give individuals more time to file tax returns and settle bills. The agencies want to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate unusual circumstances related to the pandemic. More guidance will be provided by the IRS on the extended filing season in the coming days. The extended deadline only applies to federal income returns and taxes, meaning taxpayers will need to check if their state tax deadline has been changed (which can be checked here). Estimated tax payments are still due on April 15, 2021. As always, please let us know if you need us to send you any tax documents for your accounts at Schwab.

We are nearing quarter-end of Q1 and would love to schedule a review with you, if you have not already done so. Please call our office at (888) 253-0288 or email Sunni Allen at Sunni@apriem.com to schedule a Zoom review or conference call with your wealth manager.

Sincerely yours,

Rhonda Ducote 

President