With the change of the season, also comes potential changes for our country. After several days of waiting, we now have a presumptive winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, coronavirus cases climb higher, Pfizer announces their vaccine is 90% effective, and the markets remained flat for the week.
Four days after Election Day ballots were finally counted. On Saturday, it was announced that Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate is the potential President – Elect of the United States. At this time President Trump has not conceded and is requesting recounts in several key states. Congress looks to remain unchanged with a Democratic House and most likely a Republican Senate. The remaining two Senate seats from Georgia will ultimately determine which party controls the Senate, with a runoff election scheduled for nearly two months from now.
On Monday, Pfizer (PFE) announced promising news that their Covid-19 vaccine can be 90% effective fighting against the coronavirus. Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine is still in Phase 3 of trials that are being conducted on a test group in the U.S. They will not be filing for emergency use with the Food and Drug Administration until half of their patients in the study have been observed for any safety concerns for at least 2 months after their second dose. They expect to cross this threshold next week. Moderna also announced that they could soon know if their vaccine worked in their large clinical trial.
The news of a vaccine potentially being available for public use could not have come at a better time, with coronavirus cases reaching an all-time high in the U.S. Across the country, many states are seeing a rise in cases and hospitalizations. Texas is the first state to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases with California being the second. States are beginning to increase restrictions to try and limit exposure, especially going into the winter months. On Tuesday, San Diego County rolled back from the less-restricted red tier to the most restrictive purple tier of the state’s coronavirus tracking system.
Stocks closed sharply lower today reversing a three-day rally as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the U.S. With more shutdowns in various states on the horizon, investors are concerned the uncertain outlook of the economic recovery. Although stocks closed lower today, we are still near pre-pandemic highs. Please see chart below for the year-to-date performance of the S&P 500:
The Fed is committed to keeping interest rates near zero, at an all-time low, to help give aid to Americans impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans and Democrats continue to remain far apart on a new coronavirus stimulus package. It is looking less likely that an agreement will come by the end of the year.
Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and we are forever grateful to our military personnel for the sacrifices they have made for our freedom. We thank them and their families for their service, courage, and dedication to keep our country safe and strong.
Earlier this week, we sent out an invitation for our next virtual WOW Event: Later Is Too Late with author, Susan Alpert, on Tuesday, December 8th from 11 AM – 12:30 PM. Please call our office if you would like to add your name to register for this event.
As the end of the year is approaching quickly, we recognize that it is a busy time for you and your family. If you would like to discuss any of the following: charitable planning, your Required Minimum Distribution, contributing to or opening a retirement account, charitable contributions, gain/loss tax planning, or a review of your accounts, please call our office toll free at (888) 253-0288 or email Sunni@apriem.com to schedule an appointment with your wealth manager.