Yesterday, Initial Jobless Claims came in at 1.3 million – a little better than last week but worse than the 1.28 million projection. In addition, the United States is paying over 15 million people Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and over 32 million are receiving some sort of assistance. These figures paired with the end of pandemic stimulus checks pushed the S&P into the red this morning and the Dow into the red for the first time in five days.
We have talked a few times in the last week about an increase in purchases and new-builds. However, not all branches of real estate are this hot. We have addressed the alarming number of Americans who do not feel confident they will be able to make next month’s payment. Many believe that states will extend eviction bans as another wave of stimulus. But our neighbor to the south, Arizona, has started to lift these bans. Unfortunate news for renters in the west coming at the same time that landlords have been dreading – stimulus check decreases. Both renters with nowhere to go and landlords with vacant properties will be heavily hit in upcoming weeks.
On the positive side, The Commerce Department reported a 7.5% increase of sales online, at stores and in restaurants to over the month totaling over $524 billion dollars spent – approaching the dollars spent before shutdowns.
In other news, Google has teamed up with Twitter using social media posts and location data to monitor and predict COVID outbreaks with a potential 14 day notice. The two internet giants monitor google searches and social media posts about COVID symptoms to tell the public which areas will be the new hot spots. So, if you are a Web MD doctor, you actually may be helping the rest of us out!
Yesterday, we talked about bonds being in the middle of a trading range. They have increased and are now flirting with its ceiling. Because breakouts are an exception and not a rule, we hold a locking bias.