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Observations & Insights (5/15/2020) Thumbnail

Observations & Insights (5/15/2020)

We hope you have had a wonderful week. Our team wanted to send along some information on the markets and some timely planning information. All members of The Planning Group are healthy and our team continues to be fully functional.

The stock market struggled this week as investors wait and see on reopening

  •  By the end of the month, 95 percent of the US population will no longer be subject to stay-at-home requirements. Some investors see this re-opening as a clear bullish sign, while others see it as the biggest risk to the recent equity market gains. As states begin to re-open, it is anticipated that the number of COVID-19 cases will increase. However, there is a very high bar for governors to re-lock down their states, even if the number of infections rises. The reason for the original lockdowns was to slow the pressure on the US health care system and to buy time for testing and therapeutics, not to eradicate COVID-19. The US has succeeded by this metric as testing has ramped up, pressure on the health care system has been reduced, and therapeutics are coming online. Investors are keeping a close eye on the next few weeks to see how consumers respond to the reopening. 
  • The US is ramping up testing. Investors are watching this closely as the number of tests increase, the rate of positive tests has steadily decreased. The percent of total tests that are positive are now below 5%. 
  • Work continues on a treatment and vaccine for COVID-19. This week the Food and Drug Administration granted "fast track" status to Moderna's mRNA vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273) against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Moderna expects to enter stage 2 testing soon. 
  • Fed Chair Powell spoke this week and sparked more discussion on interest rates and how the Fed can and will support the economy moving forward. For more insights into the Fed's comments this week and the broader implications, we have put together a short question and answer article that talks about deflation, negative interest rates and the Fed's role in supporting the economy. 

Planning Idea for the Week

  • Small Business Owners: In response to the current pandemic, recent legislation including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act have detailed a number of unemployment benefits, loans and relief for small business owners as well as the self-employed. 

    If you’re a small business owner who has felt the financial devastation of this ongoing pandemic, there are options out there designed to offer relief and help keep your business afloat.

Technology ideas to help when social distancing

Good News From Around the World

We hope that you have a nice weekend and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions at 907-677-8300. Please feel free to share this article with others.

From our families to yours, The Planning Group of the Northwest

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