Good Afternoon Valued Clients, Friends and Family,

Although the dog days of summer are behind us, we are still feeling the heat. Fires are still burning throughout the West Coast, Hurricane Sally made landfall in the South, the Federal Reserve is making moves along with the market, and continued coronavirus vaccine drama.

Currently, the US is on track for its worst hurricane season on record, with 20 named storms this year alone. So many, that there are not enough names to go around and hurricane season could still go on for months. Yesterday, Hurricane Sally made landfall in the US as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. It left flooding in parts of Alabama and Florida. The flooding, along with downed powerlines have caused over half a million people across, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana to be without power. Even though Sally has weakened into a tropical storm, it still threatens more flooding in Georgia and the Carolinas. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday a plan to make COVID-19 vaccines free to all Americans. At this time, there are over 130 potential coronavirus vaccines being developed worldwide. The CDC is hoping to distribute limited quantities of a vaccine as early as November to those who need it most, such as, health care workers and older people. They are estimating that it would take six to nine months after that for everyone else to get vaccinated. As we wait for an approved vaccine to be available, we are seeing a slow decline in new coronavirus cases and deaths. Please see chart below, for most recent data:

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve pledged to support the economic recovery by stating that they would hold rates steady near zero at least through 2023. The committee released new guidance specifying it would maintain the rates at near zero until it sees evidence of a stronger labor market and when inflation is significantly higher. The market’s volatility yesterday and today is partially in response to this decision along with the uncertainty of Congress reaching a deal on a new coronavirus relief package.
As always, since we are nearing the end of the third quarter, please schedule a review with your wealth manager, if you have not already done so.

Yours truly,

Rhonda Ducote