75 Search Results for: covid

  • Market Commentary: Vaccine Distribution, Stimulus Package Driving Economic Growth Estimates

    Posted on March 1, 2021

    The impact of government stimulus checks continues to permeate economic data. Personal income rose 10% in January, and disposable income rose 11.4%. Where did the money go? It primarily bought goods or was saved. Goods spending rose 5.8% in January, and the personal savings rate jumped to 20.5% from 13.4% the previous month (Figure 1). Limits on activity continue to pressure services spending, which rose only 0.7%.

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  • Market Commentary: Despite Initial Worry, Inflation Remains Well Controlled

    Posted on February 16, 2021

     U.S. inflation rose 0.3% last month and is now up 1.4% for the year (Figure 1). Investor concern about inflation has increased in recent months against the backdrop of large stimulus packages and hopes of an economic recovery. Pushing back against that concern is a slowly recovering labor market. Initial jobless claims fell 19,000 from the previous week but remained stubbornly close to 800,000. Continuing claims were more than 4.5 million.

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  • Market Commentary: Federal Interest Rates Remain Low with No Increases Planned

    Posted on February 8, 2021

     The U.S. employment situation remains lackluster. Only 49,000 new jobs were created in January. Unemployment dropped but only because labor force participation fell from 63.4% to 61.4% (Figure 1). As COVID-19 cases have dropped this year, some improvement is expected in coming months. Vaccine distribution remains the most important path toward an improved economy.

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  • Tax Tips for Business Owners in a COVID World

    Posted on February 4, 2021

    Facing everything from empty sales floors to painful staff shortages, entrepreneurs have been uniquely hurt by 2020 and the extent of the damage isn’t fully known yet. A Yelp economic impact report released in September found that almost 100,000 small businesses in the country had closed their doors permanently while many others struggle under the current conditions.

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  • 5 Things to Watch in the First Quarter of 2021

    Posted on January 27, 2021

    Have you found yourself officing in a room with a bunk bed? Do you realize you’re going to the store in your pajamas and never leaving your car? Does going to the movies mean going to the living room to turn on the TV? Quarantine changed the world almost overnight, and the adjustment is so pervasive in our everyday lives we hardly notice the details going by.

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  • Market Commentary: Chinese GDP Grew in 2020; U.S. Corporations Outperform Q4 Expectations.

    Posted on January 25, 2021

    Chinese GDP grew 2.3% in 2020, making it the only major economy to grow last year. In the fourth quarter, the Chinese economy grew 6.5% as China continued to gain ground on the U.S. economy. The growth was led by strong performance in industrial production, which rose 7.3% in December, compared to a year earlier.

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  • Market Commentary: Biden Proposes New Stimulus Package as Signs Point to Economic Slowdown

    Posted on January 19, 2021

    The signs of an economic slowdown continue. Initial jobless claims, which are released weekly, spiked to 965,000 last week. Claims increased by 181,000 and marked the highest weekly total since mid-August. Continuing claims increased 199,000, indicating those losing work are not finding new employment right away. Based on other data points, many of those filing for unemployment expect to be rehired when newly imposed restrictions are reduced.

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  • Market Commentary: Markets Start the New Year Strong Despite the Chaos in Washington

    Posted on January 11, 2021

    The vivid pictures and appalling actions in Washington, D.C., Wednesday captured the attention of the globe, but not the interest of markets. The Democratic sweep in the Georgia Senate races didn’t attract a lot of interest from investors either. Neither were markets fazed by the first loss of jobs in a monthly employment report since the recovery began.

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  • Help Improve Your Financial Plan This Year with These One-time Adjustments

    Posted on January 4, 2021

    It’s no secret that many people do not keep their New Year’s resolutions. Every year around this time, gym memberships go up and personal planners fly off the shelves. A few weeks later, the planner gets left on the train and the gym, well, it’s just so far out of the way! New Year’s resolutions have a whopping shelf life of about a month, and only 20% or so make it further.

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  • Market Commentary: S&P 500 Finishes the Year at a Record High, Unemployment Numbers Decrease Slowly

    Posted on January 4, 2021

    The S&P 500 wrapped up a surprising year with another strong week. The index of large-cap stocks, including dividends, climbed 1.5% and finished 18.4% higher for the year. Figure 1 shows the performance of the S&P 500, ex-dividends, in 2020 and just how far stocks have roared back from their lows.

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