Broker Check

-    The Notable Events List    -

November 2021

“Your Guide to Relevant Recent Events”

By:  Joseph R. Tranchini, CFA


Monetary

  • In the most recent publication of the Federal Reserve’s FOMC Minutes pursuant to the bank’s September meeting, the Fed noted ongoing developments relating to GDP, Inflation, Labor Markets, and its Asset Purchase Program1
    • Regarding GDP, the Fed noted that although GDP growth remains relatively robust overall, in Q3 2021 it appears that GDP has decelerated relative to the prior quarters due to ongoing supply chain disruptions caused by extensive labor shortages1
      • Staff noted that although supply chain constraints were now projected to resolve themselves more slowly than previously anticipated, the general expectation is for GDP growth to remain robust for the coming years1
    • On the topic of Inflation, participants noted that Inflation pressures remain elevated north of 4% due primarily to a combination of continued production bottlenecks and supply chain constraints related to the aforementioned labor shortages. Above average levels of demand appear to be exacerbating the effects of these factors as well1
      • The Fed reiterated its stance that the recent levels of pricing pressure being faced across the economy will be transitory and substantially abate during 20221
    • Participants noted that job growth decelerated in recent months from historically high levels but remains relatively strong across many areas of the economy. Additionally, the Fed observed that overall employment remains substantially below pre-pandemic levels and that employers continue to experience many difficulties in attracting workers back into the labor force1
      • Increases in wages, as well as schedule flexibility, are currently being offered to elicit an increase in the general level of labor supply. The overall expectation is for the labor market to continue its recovery in the coming months1
    • Regarding the Fed’s Asset Purchase Program, it was noted that a start to tapering of the current purchasing levels would likely be appropriate in the coming months as the economy has continued to make substantial progress in its recovery1
      • The Fed appears to have developed an illustrative path of tapering its current purchasing levels that would most likely start before the end of 2021, and likely conclude entirely by the middle of 20221
      • The illustrative path of tapering would entail monthly reductions from current levels by $10B a month in Treasuries, and $5B a month in MBS1
    • In the October release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, it was noted that overall economic activity continued to grow at a modest to moderate pace, however growth was constrained by ongoing supply-chain disruptions throughout the economy2
      • Standout areas of growth included manufacturing and the trucking & freight sectors, while residential housing activity appears to have been unchanged during the period2
      • Regarding employment, the Fed noted that overall employment increased modestly to moderately during the period, but that strong demand for labor was being hampered by a low supply of labor2
        • Firms reported experiencing high levels of employee turnover as workers leave current jobs for other jobs. To mitigate employee retention and attraction issues, firms reported increasing wages and offering schedule flexibility, as well as increased vacation time as incentives2
      • On inflation, all reporting districts conveyed significantly elevated prices attributable to a combination of high demand and supply chain bottlenecks related to widespread labor shortages2
        • Facing higher input costs, many firms reported raising selling prices to end use consumers. Expectations for future pricing pressures varied with some expecting a continuation of elevated inflation, while others expect pricing pressures to moderate over the next year2

 

 

Fiscal

  • President Biden formally announces the conceptual framework for the new $1.75T social infrastructure package known as the Build Back Better Act. Some of the major highlights from the proposal include:5
    • Large scale investments in children and caregiving initiatives5
      • The framework would provide universal and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds5
      • Help ensure that the majority of families of four who earn less than $300,000 per year will not pay more than 7% of their income on childcare for children who are younger than 6yrs old5
      • Expand the Child Care Tax Credit through 2022 by paying families $300 a month for each child under the age of 6, and $250 a month for each child aged 6-175
    • Climate change initiatives5
      • Framework will include measures that provide for the enhancement and expansion of existing home energy and efficiency tax credits5
      • Will also include the creation of a new, electrification-focused rebate program5
    • Expansions of affordable healthcare coverage5
      • Framework will attempt to reduce premiums for more than 9 million Americans who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace5
      • Expand Medicare coverage to include hearing benefits5
    • Various initiatives primarily focused on the lower and middle class5
      • The framework provides for the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than 1 million affordable homes5
      • Will also extend the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage workers5
    • The plan is said to be fully paid for and will attempt to raise the necessary funds via multiple funding methods including:5
      • A 1% surcharge on corporate stock buybacks5
      • A 15% minimum corporate tax on companies earning over $1B annually5
      • Closing Medicare tax loopholes and creating higher taxes for individuals making over $10M annually5
      • Providing the IRS with expanded resources for which it will use to increase tax oversight5

 

 

Geopolitics

  • The United States and European Union come to an agreement to end a Trump era trade dispute on imports of steel and aluminum to the U.S.4
    • Under the agreement, the United States will maintain the existing Section 232 tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum on imports from the E.U., however will now allow for a certain volume of both metals to be imported on a duty free basis4
    • The deal will also require that all steel and aluminum imported from the E.U. be entirely produced within the European Union, which will help ensure that metals produced by China and non-E.U. countries do not get imported under the recently adopted deal4
    • Formally, a specific level of duty-free steel imports was not announced, however there is speculation that the new amount to be allowed will be 3.3 million tons. Prior the Section 232 tariffs being put in place, the E.U. exported around 5 million metric tons to the U.S. annually4


Miscellaneous

  • FDA amends and expands prior authorizations of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines to eligible populations3
    • A booster dose of Moderna’s vaccine may be administered 6 months after completion of the primary series for individuals who are aged 65+, individuals 18-64yrs who are at high risk of severe COVID-19, and individuals 18-64yrs who are occupationally or institutionally frequently exposed to COVID-193
    • A booster dose of Jansen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine may be administered 2 months after completion of the initial single dose for all individuals 18 and older3
    • A booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to individuals 18-64yrs old who are occupationally or institutionally frequently exposed to COVID-193
    • FDA also authorizes the use of heterologous dosing, otherwise known as ‘mix-and-match’, amongst booster doses for eligible individuals following completion of their primary vaccination as indicated3

 

 

[See Below for Disclosures & Annotations]

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

The companies presented here are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be viewed as an investment recommendation.

Tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to change, which can materially impact investment results. LPL Financial does not provide tax advice. Clients should consult with their personal tax advisors regarding the tax consequences of investing.

 

Annotations

  1. Federal Reserve. “Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee September 21–22, 2021’. October 13, 2021.
  2. Federal Reserve. “The Beige Book Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions”. October 20, 2021.
  3. FDA. “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Takes Additional Actions on the Use of a Booster Dose for COVID-19 Vaccines”. October 20, 2021.
  4. Reuters. “U.S., EU end Trump-era tariff war over steel and aluminum”. October 30, 2021
  5. The White House. “President Biden Announces the Build Back Better Framework”. October 28, 2021.