By the Shone Wealth Management Team
When we look at the market’s low on March 23 to where we stand today, it’s safe to say that it has been an interesting ride. We have started to see significant recovery — most notably in the market’s strong performance in April — but the waters are still choppy, a trend that will likely continue in the coming weeks. After an unsteady couple of days, the market closed last week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) +0.25% higher, the S&P 500 +0.39% higher, and the Nasdaq +0.79% higher.
As some states move to reopen their economies, while others take a more gradual approach throughout the summer months, the nation is waiting with equal parts anticipation and anxiety to see when the economy will get back on the road to recovery.
When we look at the latest data, the effects of measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 are taking their toll. Weekly jobless claims rose by 2.98 million in the week ended May 9, which is slightly worse than what many had forecast. Total claims have now reached nearly 36.5 million over the past two months, which represents the biggest loss in U.S. history. What’s more, some economists have claimed that we haven’t reached the peak of unemployment yet.
Will the stimulus efforts by the government and Federal Reserve pay off? Will gradual reopenings help get the economy back on track? Only time will tell. In the meantime, the best path you can take is to maintain your current long-term investment strategy, and proactively communicate with our advisory team on any changes in your financial life in light of the pandemic which may affect your plan.
As of this writing, the House of Representatives is expected to vote late Friday on a $3 trillion relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to the first package signed in March, the new package would include another round of stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per person and nearly $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments, among other components. We will provide you with another update on the package as new details and actions are announced.
The White House is reportedly considering a proposal that would allow struggling Americans to take an advance on their Social Security in exchange for delaying their benefits in the future. The payment — which reportedly will be up to $5,000 — would be structured as a loan with a government-set interest rate. Individuals who decide to participate in the program would pay that loan back when they start collecting their first Social Security checks. Their benefits would return to normal after the loan is paid off.
We’ll keep you updated on the developments from both of these proposals in the coming weeks and will continue to remain diligent about communicating the latest news you should know during this uncharted time. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly if you have concerns, questions, or want to discuss your financial situation. We will get through this, together.