Dear Clients and Friends,
The first week of the new year was a good one for markets, with much optimism over more stimulus coming soon. New jobless claims fell to just under 800,000, and the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%. Once again continuing claims dropped by about 500,000 to just over 19 million people under all the programs available. That being said, a different Government metric put the continuing claims closer to 10 million due to widespread fraud and miscounting of the unemployed. Either way, the numbers are going in the right direction.
With the Senate going blue, we expect to see a big stimulus program in the next month or so, which should help both those who are suffering economically, as well as the stock market. The Fed has maintained its promise of low interest rates, which also should help.
Hopefully over the next few months, the broader economy gets back to normal and profits of industries that were particularly hurt go back to pre-pandemic levels. We believe that many of the industries that lagged last year have a good opportunity to recover and grow this year.
Have a happy and safe New Year!