Happy October! As we enter the final quarter of the year, it feels as if we have been jumping up and down in a giant bounce house called 2020. This year has been filled with ups and downs with coronavirus cases, the stock market, the presidential election, and the ongoing negotiations of the next stimulus package.

Across the country, coronavirus cases have increased in some states, but has seen a decrease in others. Although Orange County, CA has continued to trend downward, officials decided on Monday that the county will not move out of the red tier of the state’s monitoring system. The recent spikes in cases could be attributed to Labor Day get-togethers and students returning to in-class instruction. Below is the most recent data:

Stimulus discussion continued in Washington DC this week. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi restarted talks in recent days, but have still not reached common ground on issues including state and local aid, liability protections for businesses and unemployment benefits. The two sides agree that there should be a second stimulus payment, but disagree on the amount of that payment. It is unlikely that a new bill will pass prior to Election Day, on November 3rd.  If an agreement cannot be reached, the president could take executive action and bypass Congress.

President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. appeared onstage together on Tuesday for the first of three presidential debates. The debate was less than civil and due to the constant interruptions the commission that oversees the general election presidential debates said that it will be making changes to the format of the remaining two debates. One of the biggest changes to be implemented is cutting off the microphones of the two candidates if they do not adhere to the rules. The two candidates are scheduled to meet again in two weeks, on October 15th, for the second debate in Salt Lake City, Utah. The final debate will take place on October 22nd.

Yesterday was a strong end to the quarter for the markets with all three indices ending higher with hopes of a new stimulus deal. Several analysts said they didn’t see the debate having a big effect on the stock market, whose path depends much more on what happens with corporate profits, interest rates and the coronavirus pandemic than who sits in the White House. Today, the markets finished slightly positive with investors monitoring the progress on a stimulus deal.

Just a reminder for the ladies, that our virtual WOW Event on Social Security is next Thursday, October 8th from 1 – 2:30 PM. Please click here to register, if you would like to attend.

If you have not already done so, please call our office toll free at (888) 253-0288 or email Sunni@apriem.com to schedule a virtual quarter-end review with your wealth manager.

Warmest regards,

Rhonda Ducote