ROBARE & JONES ON THE MARKETS
Well yet again another up swing in the S&P 500 rising 1.4% this week, setting a new record high, and is now up over 11% year-to-date. Also, weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level since March of 2020 (beginning of the pandemic). Utilities had the largest percentage increase, up 3.7%, while Communication Services was the only sector to miss being in the green for the week.
Investor optimism came even as the seven-day average of newly reported US COVID-19 cases edged up and the US vaccination effort hit a major setback. The CDC recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine following cases of a blood clot in multiple women who had received the vaccine.
Next week's earnings calendar features Coca-Cola (KO) and United Airlines (UAL) on Monday, Procter & Gamble (PG) and Netflix (NFLX) on Tuesday, Verizon Communications (VZ) and Halliburton (HAL) on Wednesday, AT&T (T) and Intel (INTC) on Thursday, and American Express (AXP) and Kimberly-Clark (KMB) on Friday.
Let's take a look at the benchmarks from this past week!
What's on the Benefit's Menu?
The impact of COVID-19 on workplaces has been profound. As we move toward a new normal, it is likely work as we once knew it will be changed forever. Employer benefits is one area in which there may be significant change.
Financial wellness has become a top concern for Americans – at work and at home. Two-thirds of survey participants said they spent more time thinking about their finances in 2020 than they have in prior years, and they identified key barriers to financial security which included:
- 72% Lack of retirement savings
- 65% Lack of emergency savings
- 65% Not enough invested to grow
- 64% Too many bills
- 58% Not enough financial “know-how”
- 55% Too much debt
Some employers are considering new benefits that help address these issues, including emergency savings programs and other financial wellness options.
What are your financial concerns?