Weekly Investment Update

This week, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Based upon the list of priorities communicated so far, the administration appears focused on ramping up vaccine distribution and economic relief in his first few days in office. Mr. Biden is requesting that Congress approve $1.9 trillion in relief, which includes:

  • $1,400 per person in direct payments to households (subject to income limitations)
  • $400 per week in supplemental unemployment insurance benefits
  • Expanding the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for this year

On balance, aid to households comprises roughly half of the plan’s cost while much of the rest is aimed at vaccine distribution as well as supporting state and local governments who have seen their tax receipts decline.[1] 

The new administration faces challenges on several fronts as it settles into office. Most pressing, Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are near all-time highs in the US.

Graph depicting the change in confirmed cases and fatalities from COVID-19 in the U.S. from March 2020 to January 2021

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins CSSE, J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Guide to the Markets U.S. Data are as of January 12, 2021.

Key Economic Releases This Week

Day Report Period Consensus Est. Previous
Thursday, Jan. 21 Building Permits (annual rate) December 1.60 million 1.64 million
Thursday, Jan. 21 Housing Starts (annual rate) December 1.56 million 1.55 million
Friday, Jan. 22 Existing Home Sales (annual rate) December 6.55 million 6.69 million
Friday, Jan. 22 Markit US Manufacturing PMI (preliminary) January 56.5 57.1
Friday, Jan. 22 Markit US Services PMI (preliminary) January 53.4 54.8

Source: Bloomberg

Asset Class Returns

Category Representative Index YTD 2021 Full Year 2020
Global Equity MSCI All-Country 1.5% 16.3%
US Large Cap Equity  S&P 500  0.4% 18.4%
US Small Cap Equity  Russell 2000 7.5% 20.0%
Foreign Developed Equity MSCI EAFE 1.8% 7.8%
Emerging Market Equity MSCI Emerging Markets 5.2% 18.3%
US High Yield Fixed Income ICE BofAML High Yield 0.4% 6.2%
US Fixed Income Barclays Aggregate Bond -0.8% 7.5%
Cash Equivalents ICE BofAML 0-3 Mo Deposit 0.0% 0.5%

Source: Morningstar
As of January 15, 2021

Prices & Interest Rates

Representative Index Current Year-End 2020
S&P 500 3,768 3,749
Dow Jones Industrial Avg. 30,814 30,497
NASDAQ 12,999 12,886
Crude Oil (US WTI) $52.33 $48.52
Gold $1,832 $1,893
US Dollar 90.77 89.94
2 Year Treasury 0.13% 0.13%
10 Year Treasury 1.11% 0.93%
30 Year Treasury 1.85% 1.65%

Source: Bloomberg, US Treasury 
As of January 15, 2021

Past performance may not be representative of future results.  All investments are subject to loss.  Forecasts regarding the market or economy are subject to a wide range of possible outcomes.  The views presented in this market update may prove to be inaccurate for a variety of factors.  These views are as of the date listed above and are subject to change based on changes in fundamental economic or market-related data.  Please contact your Financial Advisor in order to complete an updated risk assessment to ensure that your investment allocation is appropriate.   

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