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April 4 Update: US COVID-19 Test Results Increase; California to Increase Testing Fivefold

From the LA Times: Gov. Gavin Newsom said he ‘owns’ coronavirus testing lapses, announces task force In a Saturday news conference, Newsom announced a task force that he said will work toward a fivefold increase in daily testing in the state by identifying supply shortages and adding testing locations. The announcement comes as California continues […]

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CDC: Seasonal Flu Activity Decreased Sharply, Now “Low”

Seasonal flu activity has slowed sharply, and is now low, and that will help with the rapidly increasing COVID-19 pandemic. From the CDC: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report Laboratory confirmed flu activity as reported by clinical laboratories continues to decrease sharply and is now low. Influenza-like illness activity, while lower than last week, is still […]

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Comments on March Employment Report

The March report was much worse than expected (due to uncertainty about the timing of layoffs), but the report is already “stale”. The April report will be much worse with job losses in the millions (The April report will show the most job losses ever). The headline number for March was 701 thousand jobs lost, […]

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ISM Non-Manufacturing Index decreased to 52.5% in March

The March ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 52.5%, down from 57.3% in February. The employment index decreased to 47.0%, from 55.6%. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction. From the Institute for Supply Management: March 2020 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business® conomic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 122nd consecutive […]

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March Employment Report: 701,000 Jobs Lost (718,000 Lost ex-Census), 4.4% Unemployment Rate

From the BLS: Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it. Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in […]

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Goldman: March Payrolls Preview

A few brief excerpts from a note by Goldman Sachs economist Spencer Hill: We estimate nonfarm payrolls declined 180k in March, below consensus of -100k.…We estimate the unemployment rate rose three tenths to 3.8%, with risks skewed towards a larger increase (consensus 3.8%).…While we look for a weaker-than-consensus report tomorrow, the March employment numbers are […]

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How a global pandemic could accelerate the ESG imperative

The COVID-19 pandemic has been extraordinary in countless ways. Beyond the deeply felt strains on health and humanity, it is an economic and social issue with generational consequences. We believe it could also be a defining moment for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. From a social perspective, we expect companies will be remembered and […]

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March Employment Preview

Important Notes:1. The BLS reference week includes the 12th of the month. Massive COVID-19 layoffs started after the reference week (although there was a pickup in layoffs during the reference week).2. Watch for Special Notes in the release. There could be some important announcements on how the BLS will be handling unemployment numbers and seasonal […]

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Trade Deficit decreased to $39.9 Billion in February

Note: This data was for February and the outbreak of COVID-19 likely impacted trade with China. From the Department of Commerce reported: The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $39.9 billion in February, down $5.5 billion from $45.5 billion in January, revised. […]

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Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Increase to 6,648,000

The DOL reported: In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous week’s level was revised up by […]

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Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Trade Deficit

Thursday:• At 8:30 AM, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for a 3.000 million initial claims, down from 3.283 million the previous week. • At 8:30 AM, Trade Balance report for January from the Census Bureau. The consensus is the trade deficit to be $40.0 billion.  The U.S. trade […]

Estate Planning

Estate Plan Updates for Seniors

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to yourself and to your loved ones. An estate plan that functions as intended will protect your assets and help them grow over the course of your lifetime as well as ensure that your loved ones are provided for in […]