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Hope all is well with you and your family.  The major U.S. stock indexes rose this week. The gain snapping a string of four consecutive weekly declines. At Friday’s close, the S&P 500 was down 6% from its early September record high, the NASDAQ was down 8%, and the Dow was 4% lower.  Last month’s 3.9% decline in the S&P 500 snapped a string of five monthly gains in a row. 

Job Growth Slowing
Although the U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, the latest monthly employment report provided further evidence of a slowdown in the pace of the economic recovery and in the labor participation rate. Of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April, roughly half have since been recovered. 

Coronavirus Relief
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly passed a Democratic bill that proposes a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package. However, the bill failed to win backing from House Republicans, and prospects in the Republican-led Senate remained uncertain.  Markets remain optimistic that Congress will overcome their differences and pass a relief package.

President Tests Positive
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump after they tested positive for COVID-19, as well as several other high-profile politicians, thoughts and prayers go out to the first family and all those infected by this terrible virus. Global and U.S. stock markets fell modestly on Friday following the announcement of the positive tests.

The stock market continues to hold up despite all the negative news this year.   At the moment there is a lot of uncertainty about the direction of our economy and our country.   This will lead to continued volatility in the short run but I remain positive on stocks longer term. I am here to help at any time. If you would like to schedule a phone/web conference appointment, I have included a link to my calendar below and you can self schedule. For those of you who prefer an in person meeting I am now scheduling in person meetings as well, please email me if you would prefer an in person appointment.