This week we have some market updates, thoughts on economic recovery from the perspective of home builders, and a sweet collection of stories about love and marriage in the time of COVID.
Stocks hit a wall last week as the technology sector lagged, bringing down the whole market. With little warning and no obvious catalyst, it remains unclear whether the technology selloff last week was the result of market technicals or a fundamental change in investor outlook. The coming weeks may provide some clarity in this regard.
The labor market’s gradual recovery seems to be continuing. The Automated Data Processing (ADP) employment survey showed that private payrolls increased by 428,000 in August, falling short of consensus expectations of over 1.1 million. New jobless claims checked in at 884,000, exceeding the initial estimate of 850,000. In better news, Americans receiving unemployment declined by 1.24 million to 13.3 million—half the peak number in May.
Homebuilders are expressing confidence in an economy that may feel gloomy to some. Builder confidence in August jumped to an eye-popping 78 in August, according to the Housing Market Index courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders. To put that number in perspective, anything over 50 is considered positive.
This past April, builder confidence plunged to 30 as the pandemic swept the nation. In August, the index hit the highest level in the 35-year history of the monthly series and matches the record set in December 1998.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, many people transitioned to working from home at the beginning of the year. As 2020 wore on, and schools made plans to offer remote learning, many homes began to do triple duty as a space to live, work, and learn. With this in mind, the top requirements for buyers are hardly surprising: a home office, a garage, and greener backyards. In addition, record-low mortgage rates have made the urban flight a reality for many.
Remember, housing’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can average as high as 18 percent, making it a critical barometer to monitor.3
We understand that a home is often the biggest financial commitment many can make. That’s why when it comes to your most important financial decisions—like buying a new home—we’d love to help.
As for this week’s happy goings-on in the world, we’re bringing you three lovely stories of romance. First, Ohio newlyweds Tyler and Melanie Tapajna decided to cancel their reception and donate their wedding food to a homeless shelter in their area. They spent the day of their wedding serving food to the women and children who use the shelter, still dressed in their wedding attire.
Also recently, the Guinness Book of World Records had to update its entry for the world’s oldest married couple: Ecuadorians Julio Mora (110) and Waldramina Quinteros (104) are now the record holders. In their 79th year of marriage, they are still lucid and active and miss the family gatherings that bring them joy.
Finally, country music sweethearts Tim McGraw and Faith Hill made Instagram swoon this week when Faith and their three daughters surprised Tim with a family album release party to celebrate his new record, Here on Earth. The couple enjoyed a slow dance posted to social media that gives a peek at their romantic marriage and a preview of the brand new album.
We hope everyone’s weekend is full of the giving, love, and laughter of these three couples.
Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Securities offered through Triad Advisors, member FINRA/SIPC. Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions,LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors.