I hope everyone is doing well. I am not sure if you feel like I do, but I have a post-election hangover and the election is not even over. Markets are continuing to stay in positive territory, COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and the Federal Reserve is keeping its benchmark interest rate near zero.
Considering that it is 2020, it is only fitting that the presidential election outcome is still undecided. Votes are continuing to be counted in many crucial swing states, neither President Trump nor Joe Biden have secured enough Electoral College votes to win the presidency. A conclusive result could take a few days or more, leaving open the possibility of a contested election. The markets are continuing to react positively with the speculation that the U.S. will have a divided legislature which will make it difficult to get things done.
The markets have continued to rally as investors are speculating that the U.S. election results will mean no major tax hikes or regulatory changes. If Joe Biden wins the presidency and republicans keep control of the senate this would produce a divided legislature that is less likely to pass a multi-trillion-dollar stimulus package. Investors are banking on a split Congress to leave Trump’s corporate tax policy unchanged while pursuing lighter regulation of the tech sector.
Today, Chairman Jerome Powell announced that the Federal Reserve will be keeping interest rates near zero. Regardless of the outcome of the election, the central bank is committed to providing financial help for Americans. These historically low rates make it easier for millions of Americans to borrow money during these challenging times. Although economists expected jobless claims to come in at 741,000, the Labor Department reported today that 751,000 U.S. workers filed for unemployment benefits. This is the third straight week that claims were below 800,000.
On Wednesday, the U.S. reported its highest number of new coronavirus infections in a single day with over 100,000 cases. This number is not just due to more testing. New cases have increased 21% over the past week, but testing has only increased by 4.52%, according to the Covid Tracking Project. 18 states set new records for hospitalizations. With the surge of new coronavirus cases, we remain hopeful that a new vaccine could be available by the end of the year.
I am excited to announce that Christopher Whitaker and Megan Schwab from our Financial Planning department will be hosting 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
Remember, November is Shredding Month here at Apriem. If you would like to get rid of any personal or financial papers that you do not need any longer then come by and we will shred them for you. Drop them off at our office in Irvine, CA on any business day between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Stay safe and healthy,