The Independent Market Observer

Medical and Economic News Continues to Demonstrate Improvements

April 9, 2021

Two weeks ago, after several weeks of significant improvement, the medical news started to worsen as case growth and positive test rates ticked back up. Whether this situation might signal the start of another wave of infection growth was an open question. The good news is that the answer looks to be no. Case growth, while slightly above recent lows, has stayed steady despite the continued reopening of the economy and the increasing spread of more contagious variants of COVID-19. While the battle against the pandemic continues, vaccinations are also continuing. They should end up choking the virus off before it gets to a significant fourth wave. The medical risks are still real, but they are lower than they were two weeks ago, and they’re dropping every week.

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The Importance of Investing in Financial Literacy

April 8, 2021

“The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.” Alan Greenspan

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Looking Back at the Markets in Q1 and Ahead to Q2 2021

April 7, 2021

The first quarter looks to be the turning point, both for the pandemic here in the U.S. and for the economic damage it has caused. While risks still remain, especially in the short term, the significant progress we made in the first two months of the year started coming to fruition in March, signaling that we are through the worst of it.

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Monday Update (on Tuesday): Labor Market Recovery Picks Up Steam

April 6, 2021

Last week saw a number of important economic updates, with results largely coming in above economist estimates. Highlights included better-than-expected results for March’s consumer and business confidence surveys and a much-better-than-expected March jobs report. This will be another busy week for updates, with a focus on international trade, the minutes from the most recent Fed meeting, and a look at producer inflation in March.

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Market Thoughts for April 2021 [Video]

April 5, 2021

In March, we saw a strong end to a healthy first quarter for stock markets. Both the Dow and S&P 500 here in the U.S. showed gains, while developed markets abroad showed lower but still positive returns. We also had good news on the economic front. Hiring rebounded, layoffs dropped, and consumer confidence rose to post-pandemic highs.

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Coronavirus Update: April 1, 2021 [Video]

April 1, 2021

Today, I'd like to provide an update on the coronavirus, including the economic and market implications. After several weeks of improvement on the medical front, we’re starting to see modest deterioration as the country reopens. Case counts and positive test rates are back to early March levels, while hospitalizations and death rates have stabilized. While the short-term risks are real, we do have a better outlook for the next two to three months. At that point, between vaccinations and existing exposure, we should be at or close to herd immunity.

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