We hope you have had a wonderful week and CONGRATULATIONS to the class of 2020 on your graduation! As we head into the Memorial Day Weekend, we honor and remember all of the military personnel who have given their lives for our country.
The stock market had a strong week with States reopening and tentative good news regarding a vaccine
- By the end of this week, all states had lifted some or all of their lockdown restrictions and began to open their economies. Investors are watching closely to see how many and how fast unemployed workers are able to get back to work.
- Moderna announced Monday that the interim Phase 1 data for its mRNA vaccine had promising results. The stock market surged (S&P 500 +3.2%), though many want more details on the results.
- House Democrats passed a sweeping $3 Trillion stimulus package. The purpose of this exercise was not to put forward a plan that could pass the Senate and be signed into law. Rather, Speaker Pelosi was putting forth the priorities of the Democratic Caucus, getting the measure passed by the House, and using that baseline as leverage to negotiate with the Senate and the White House. Speaker Pelosi cannot just walk from this debate, as delivering for state and local governments is her top priority. Most states are approaching the end of their fiscal year (6/30) and federal funds are needed to plug their budget gaps. Legislation is likely needed weeks ahead of this timeline. Senate Majority Leader McConnell also needs a deal. As states gradually re-open, employers need legal liability protections. Both parties want to make the Paycheck Protection Program work and June 30th is the deadline for the existing program. We anticipate that Congress will clear a deal in the first half of June, add roughly $1.5 trillion in fiscal policy.
Planning Idea for the Week
- Health Insurance: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many shifts in the economy and business capacity, which has inevitably impacted the employment status of thousands of Americans. As a result, the health coverage status of many has also changed. This article from our blog explores how you can stay prepared when confronting the following four different coverage scenarios that may arise during COVID-19.
Technology ideas to help when social distancing
- TV Shows, Movies, Podcasts and the Theater: The options we have for entertainment can seem overwhelming. Here are some options and tricks to make being homebound more enjoyable:
- TV: Explore your options as well as the pros and cons of each
- Netflix party: Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds a group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.
- Broadway HD: View hundreds of productions online, from Shakespeare to Tony Award winning blockbusters. $8.99 USD/mo. (after a 7-day free trial)
- Anchorage Concert Association: The Anchorage Concert Association staff curated a YouTube playlist & updated their website with Anchorage fan favorites, artists they hope to present, and videos too awesome to miss
- Living Room Concerts: Broadway performers launch a series of free living-room concerts
- The Metropolitan Theater: The Metropolitan Theater in NY is offering free nightly operas
- The Social Distancing Festival: See visual arts, dance, concerts, opera, and theatre created to showcase online art projects that were canceled due to the coronavirus
- Top 100 Podcasts: This list of the top 100 podcasts in the US on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) is updated every few days
- NY Times Best Sellers: this list authoritatively ranks books sold in the United States, sorted by format and genre
- Title Wave Bookstore Alaska: Title Wave is putting together pre-made grab bags for all ages (little kids to adults). They are themed and you can choose from: adventure, animal stories, zombies, history, classics, and many more. $10 for kids, $15 for ya/teen, and $30 for adults. Call to reserve yours for pickup: (907) 278-9283
Good News From Around the World
- Scientists have come with a groundbreaking new way for blind people to “see” by delivering visual information directly to the brain, rather than through damaged eyes.
- Disney announced that the much anticipated filmed version of the stage production of Hamilton (with original actors) will be available to stream through Disney+ on July 3, 2020.
- Grocer in Gustavus, Alaska travels 14 hours by boat each week to Juneau, AK to fetch food and supplies for his neighbors.
- Seniors graduated this week, and since they were not able to attend ceremonies, walk across stages, or celebrate with their friends and families, many celebrities (from business, film, politics, sports, music and more) celebrated them with commencement speeches. Congratulations to all the seniors on their amazing accomplishment!
We hope that you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend. In honor of Memorial Day, our offices and the stock market are closed Monday (5/25/2020). Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions at 907-677-8300.
From our families to yours, The Planning Group of the Northwest