Last week began with more good news on another COVID-19 vaccine, sparking a rally in domestic and global stocks. The Dow set a record as it neared the 30,000 mark, with cyclicals and small caps advancing on hopes of a speedier economic recovery. The Russell 2000 and the Global Dow each gained more than 2.0%, while both the Dow and the S&P 500 added more than 1.0%. The Nasdaq advanced 0.8%. Among the market sectors, energy, financials, and industrials surged. Crude oil prices and Treasury yields climbed, while the dollar slipped.
The headline unemployment rate for October was 6.9%, a 1% improvement over September and less than half the rate in April. The rate is moving in the right direction but has a long way to go, and the headline rate — officially called U-3 — is not always the best indication of the state of employment. The U-3 rate only measures those who are unemployed and have actively looked for work during the previous four weeks.
Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts change annually. Here’s a look at some of the costs that will apply in 2021 if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B.
Stocks soared to record highs last Monday following an announcement from a major pharmaceutical company of positive data on a COVID-19 vaccine. That news, coupled with President-elect Joe Biden’s win, helped buoy investor optimism. Cyclicals and bio-tech stocks led a powerful rally, which drove the Dow up 3.0%. The S&P 500 added 1.2%, the Russell 2000 climbed a robust 3.7%, and the Global Dow shot up 4.2%. The Nasdaq lost value as money moved from tech stocks to value shares. Energy shares jumped more than 14%, while financials advanced more than 8.0%. Crude oil prices, the dollar, and Treasury yields all rose.
The U.S. homeownership rate jumped by 2.6% in the second quarter of 2020, the largest quarterly increase on record, bringing it to a level last seen in 2008.
In 2020, 74% of workers said they expected to work for pay after retiring from their regular jobs, but only 27% of retirees said they had actually done so. This large gap between expectation and reality has been fairly consistent in surveys over the past 20 years, and there is no reason to expect it will change.
Stocks rebounded last Monday with each of the benchmark indexes gaining value, led by the Russell 2000, which added 2.0%, followed by the Global Dow, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq. Treasury yields fell while the dollar and crude oil prices advanced. It is unclear what drove the market uptick. Some analysts suggest investors may see fiscal relief coming shortly after the election, while others proffer that the market gains were nothing more than dip-buying following last week’s selloff. Each of the major market sectors ended the day in the black, with energy and materials each advancing more than 3.0%.
Open enrollment is your annual opportunity to review your employer-provided benefit options and make elections for the upcoming plan year. You can get the most out of what your employer offers and possibly save some money by taking the time to read through your open enrollment information before making any benefit decisions. Every employer has its own open enrollment period (typically in the fall) and the information is usually available online through your employer.
During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 through December 7, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage that will be effective on January 1, 2021. If you’re satisfied with your current coverage, you don’t need to make changes, but it’s a good idea to review your options.
Here are some things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves before the end of the year.