Viewpoints: November 2020
Welcome to Viewpoints, a monthly bulletin from PDS Planning to our valued clients and friends. Our goal with each issue of Viewpoints is to provide you with a wide variety of perspectives on life and wealth. Feel free to share with others.
Economic and Investment News Bits
- Remote Learning: Major school districts around the country are moving to remote learning as the rate of positive Covid-19 tests continue to rise. New York, Detroit, and Indianapolis are making the move to remote, though research is unclear whether keeping schools open actually increases infection rates. Columbus City has remained remote since the start of this school year. (Source: WSJ)
- Bulls vs Bears: 56% of investors surveyed as of 11/11/20 are bullish (positive) on US stocks for the upcoming 6 months. This is the highest percentage recorded in this weekly survey since early 2018. (Source: American Association of Individual Investors)
- Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin has started making headlines since the price has soared to about $18,000. The comparisons to the irrational exuberance of 2017 are uncanny and deserves a word of caution to those intrigued by the past returns. (Source: MarketWatch)
Unemployment Still a Problem
The number of new weekly unemployment claims has started to level off, but at a much higher number than pre-pandemic. An estimated 742,000 new claims this week compared to 709,000 new claims last week keep the number of American’s still without a job over 6 million. There’s a long way to go to get back to the January and February levels of 250,000 per week and only 1.7 million people unemployed.
The leveling off begins to indicate the mountain the economy has yet to climb in battling through the global Covid-19 pandemic to a full recovery. “The economic recovery is continuing but losing steam after rebounding strongly in the third quarter from the pandemic-induced downturn. U.S. retail sales rose in October at their slowest pace since spring, and data suggest consumers became more cautious this month as the increase in virus cases prompted some officials to impose new restrictions, mask mandates and other measures to slow its spread. Job growth weakened in October and has slowed each month since June.”
However, not all news is bad. Hopes of a vaccine look to be coming to fruition with positive phase 3 data from Pfizer and BioNTech. With a vaccine on the horizon, the uncertainty for local and national businesses is reduced and a plan can finally start forming. It’s still a long road ahead, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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