As we head into the end of the year, the focus continues to be on the health of our nation. With the number of cases growing substantially, there is hope that we will have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020.
At this time, most states’ numbers are moving in the wrong direction across the country, except Hawaii. Nationwide, the seven-day average of new cases is at its highest ever up 27% compared to last week. With the rise in cases, state and local officials are reinstituting stay-at-home orders, curfews, and other restrictions, to curb the spread. On Monday, California broke their single-day record for new Covid-19 cases, causing state officials to pull an “emergency brake” and rollback the majority of the state’s counties to the strictest purple tier. Indoor businesses such as: restaurant dining rooms, gyms, movie theaters and museums are to be closed to the public. Late today, California issued a “limited Stay at Home Order” that will be in effect from 10 PM-5 AM beginning this Saturday and will remain in place until Dec. 21st.
Although the numbers are discouraging, there is hope on the horizon with Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) announcing they are seeking emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their experimental coronavirus vaccine. Phase 3 trial of Pfizer’s vaccine reported it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and cause no serious safety concerns. The companies, based on current projections, expect to produce 50 million vaccine doses worldwide in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion in 2021. Moderna is not far behind with their vaccine, but they still need to clear safety requirements before filing for emergency authorization from the FDA.
Despite this week’s volatility, stocks closed slightly higher in today’s session on the news that talks will resume for a new coronavirus relief package. Initial jobless claims came in higher at 742,000 versus the expected 700,000. Although the numbers increased from the prior week, this is the twelfth straight week that claims have been under 1 million. With interest rates remaining at an all-time low, U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected and existing home sales rose for a fifth straight month in October. Today, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to continue fiscal stimulus negotiations.
Please join Christopher Whitaker and Megan Schwab from our Financial Planning department for our next virtual event: Apriem Wealth Building. This four-part series is designed to walk through the wealth building process from scratch. Join us for Part 1: The Language of Finance on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from 3pm – 4pm. Click here to register
As always, please call our office toll-free (888) 253-0288 or email Sunni@apriem.com to schedule a virtual year-end review with your wealth manager.