WOW! And Not the Election

WOW! And Not the Election! 

Futures this morning are SOARING, as Pfizer and BioNTech announced a Covid-19 vaccine efficacy rate above 90% after the 2nd of 2 doses.  It’s suggested that protection is achieved 28 days after the initial vaccination.  Let’s all hope this is the beginning of the end of this mess!

It’s no secret that growth stay-at-home stocks have been on fire, and stocks of those companies that are dependent on the economy truly reopening have been deep in the red since March.  The early morning futures market is pointing to at least a 1-day reversal as the airlines & cruise-lines are indicated up 20%, Oil up 10%, retail up 10% and value stocks as a whole indicated up between 5 & 8%.  Stocks such as Zoom, Peloton and other 2020 high fliers appear to be ready to drop over 10% as the market opens.  What will happen by today’s market close?!  Should be interesting!

It’s certainly appropriate to mention our election status.   In case you were sleeping all weekend, on Saturday the networks called the state of Pennsylvania for former Vice-President Biden, bringing him over the 270 Electoral votes to win the Presidency.  On Saturday, attorney’s for President Trump filed suit in Arizona and are expected to file a handful more throughout this week.  Assuming nothing significant happens between now and December 8th, Joe Biden will be our President-Elect.

It appears the House of Representatives is set, with the Democrats holding the majority, however Republicans did gain a couple of seats.  The Senate it stands at 48/48/2 with 2 races to be decided.  This is significant as the result will determine if we have a balance of power and overall decision making, or if Democrats have total governmental control.  Regardless of who is President, I typically favor a balance of power for many reasons.

Markets Up Big Last Week

Pre-election week witnessed our markets dropping over 6% and rising over 7% election week.  Did the worth of US companies change 13% in 2 weeks?  Just simple evidence the market is searching for certainty.  True certainty from our election is weeks away and hopefully the Pfizer announcement will place us on the path of having the Coronavirus in the rear-view mirror.

Hopefully sometime in 2021 the word “Corona” will indicate the bottle of liquid in your hand.

US Treasury yields are moving up somewhat aggressively on today’s news, with the 10-year yield trading at .93% as I’m typing.  If this holds, US Government bonds will likely have a challenging day.

2021 Medicare Part B Premium Announced

The monthly Part B premium for 2021 will increase from 144.60 to 148.50.  The $3.90/month increase is an increase of 2.63%.  The annual Part B deductible is increased from $198 to $203, for 2021.

If you’re considered a “high income earner” you will of course pay more than above for your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums.

Previously the Social Security administration announced an increase of 1.3% beginning with checks in January 2021.  The 1.3% increase for most should be a higher dollar amount than the increase in Medicare premiums for 2021.

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