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Real Estate Trends Newsletter -- A weekly news update for mortgage professionals


Barbara Shapiro
333 Elm Street
Suite 210
Dedham,MA 02026

Welcome to HMS Financial Group
We are a full-service financial planning and investment firm located in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Life brings many opportunities and challenges and we are here to help our clients navigate through both the positive and negative times.

HMS Financial Group works closely with our clients to create a personalized plan to fit their current and future needs.

Our willingness to listen, educate and empathize with our clients sets us apart from other firms.

Barbara Shapiro, President

September 15, 2020

Here Comes the Election Season

Labor Day has passed and so have the political conventions. This means we are officially in election season. Though we will not see any political commentary in our economic analysis, we have to acknowledge that national elections can have an effect upon the markets. And we are not talking about potential winners, we are referring to the process of getting elected.

For example, the harsher the rhetoric, the more unsettled the markets can become. On the other hand, the political rhetoric has been amped up for so long, the markets can start to become immune to the firefights. And with the country dealing with a pandemic and unrest at the same time as election season is progressing, things could get very interesting, indeed.

And though we will not be covering political positions -- nor will we be keeping score -- we will be conveying one consistent message. It is important for everyone who is able to participate in the process by voting. That is what a democracy is all about. From there, let the chips fall where they may during these remarkably interesting and challenging times. Regarding the economy, the Federal Reserve meets this week-- their last meeting before the election. Traditionally, the Fed does not make major announcements during the election season, unless there is a true emergency. Thus, we are not expecting an appreciable change in policy this time around.


The heightened volatility continued in the holiday shortened week. By the end of the week, stocks continued their pullback from recent highs. Gold prices and interest rates were fairly stable and oil prices eased. The inflation data came in slightly higher than expected on the retail and wholesale levels, but still below the Fed's annual targets. This week we will see data on industrial production, retail sales and housing starts -- as well as the meeting of the Fed. Next week will feature existing and new home sales, as well as orders for durable goods. 

Current Financial Indices
Updated September 11, 2020

  Daily Value Previous Week
  Sept 11 Sept 4
Dow Jones Industrials 27,666 28,133
S&P 500 3,3341 3,427
Oil: US Light Crude


Euro To US Dollar 1.185 1.184
Gold 1,948/oz 1,941/oz
30 Year Mortgages 2.86% 2.93%
1 Year Treasury Security 0.15% 0.12%
10 Year Treasury Security 0.67% 0.72%
Prime Rate 3.25% 3.25%

 Prior to the pandemic, Generation Z had offered the prospect that inequality in America might finally narrow, at least by some measures. Now, with economists expecting that youth will suffer the greatest coronavirus-related economic setbacks among America's workers, those hopes are dimming. Made up of people born after 1996, Gen Z is more diverse and "on track to be the most well-educated generation yet," according to the Pew Research Center. Before the pandemic hit, the strong economy offered more pathways for youth to start their careers. Their earnings potential was promising. And the tight labor market meant employers had to widen their net when considering diverse job applicants. Tatjana Meschede, a senior scientist and associate director for the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University, said there had been "room to hope" that, although longstanding economic disparities would not completely disappear, at least they might shrink among today's young people. "The pandemic cut that all short," she said. Now, just like the millennials who entered the labor force after the 2008 financial crisis, members of Generation Z will likely experience permanent declines in earnings. But those setbacks aren't evenly distributed. Among young workers, Black youth will likely bear one of the largest burdens. Black youth suffer from higher levels of unemployment and often earn lower wages than their White peers with the same levels of education. They're also less likely to come from families that have the wealth to provide substantial financial support during a downturn. And among those who go to college, Black students, on average, carry higher levels of student debt than their White peers. Source: CNN/Money

According to the latest survey from the Chronicle of Higher Education, only about 23% of U.S. colleges and universities still plan on holding all or primarily in-person classes this fall, while 15% would offer a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. For the rest, the fall semester will be all or primarily virtual. Those plans have been in a state of flux throughout the summer as local and state guidance and coronavirus case counts shifted. The perils of bringing students back to campus have already been vividly illustrated by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where multiple clusters of Covid-19 outbreaks brought a swift end to the university’s plans for in-person instruction. Meanwhile, the fate of local businesses that depend on student dollars remains unclear. Many of the towns and cities that host the more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. are built on a seasonal model, earning the bulk of their revenue between August and May, when school is in session. All of that changed last spring, leaving local leaders and residents with a difficult dilemma: They fear the virus risks that returning students bring — and the economic devastation that awaits without the cash they spend. Even for those towns whose colleges are opening for in-person teaching, the pandemic stands to radically change daily life. Extracurricular activities like sporting events, concerts, fraternity and sorority parties, and other school gatherings are canceled or on hold. The loss of international students — a major source of revenue for many U.S. colleges and universities — represents a particularly brutal loss for schools and the towns they support. Source: Bloomberg 


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