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PLANSPONSOR NEWSDASH LOGO April 13th, 2020
Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
Investing
Talking Points to Help Participants Navigate Market Volatility
Talking Points to Help Participants Navigate Market Volatility
Certain concepts should be communicated clearly to retirement plan participants so they don’t make decisions that may hurt their retirement readiness.
Administration
DB Plans Fall Victim to the Coronavirus
Firms that track DB plan funded status offer considerations for plan sponsors and note that how sponsors position themselves will determine future costs and contributions.
Most Read
Administration
Consider Who Is Paying When Benchmarking Retirement Plan Fees
Compliance
Social Security Announces COLA for 2021
Compliance
Lessons From a Rare ERISA Excessive Fee Suit Dismissal
SPONSORED BY: MassMutual
Patching financial potholes
Providing employees with a means to prepare for emergencies is a positive step towards financial security. Learn what you can do to improve financial wellness for your employees starting at the workplace.
Economic Events
February sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading day differences but not for price changes, were $500.7 billion, down 0.8% from the revised January level, but up 1.1% from the revised February 2019 level, the Census Bureau announced. The December 2019 to January 2020 percent change was revised from the preliminary estimate of up 1.6% to up 1.3%.

Interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33% for the week ending April 9, 2020, unchanged from the prior week, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12%. Interest rates on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77%, down from the prior week when it averaged 2.82%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.60%.

In the week ending April 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 6,606,000, a decrease of 261,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 6,867,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 4,265,500, an increase of 1,598,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 2,666,750.

The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.2% in March, as prices for final demand goods dropped 1.0% and the index for final demand services moved up 0.2%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced. The final demand index advanced 0.7% for the 12 months ended in March.

In March, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) fell 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis; rising 1.5% over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted (NSA). The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1% in March, SA; up 2.1% over the year, NSA.

Real average hourly earnings increased 0.8% over the month in March, SA. Average hourly earnings increased 0.4% and CPI-U decreased 0.4%. Real average weekly earnings increased 0.2% over the month.

Wednesday, the Census Bureau will report about retail sales for March and business trade for February. Thursday, it will report about housing starts for March.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow increased 285.80 points (1.22%) to 23,719.37, the NASDAQ was up 62.67 points (0.77%) at 8,153.58, and the S&P 500 closed 39.84 points (1.45%) higher at 2,789.82. The Russell 2000 climbed 55.06 points (4.62%) to 1,246.73, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 481.85 points (1.75%) to finish at 27,938.90.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 26/32, bringing its yield down to 0.729%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 8/32, decreasing its yield to 1.350%.

For the week ending April 9, the Dow finished 12.67% higher, the NASDAQ was up 10.59%, and the S&P 500 increased 12.10%. The Russell 2000 climbed 18.50%, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 12.95%.
Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Mercer adds health and benefits consultant in California office, and Ascensus names retirement plan VP for western division.
Products,
MassMutual Offers CARES Act Provisions to Retirement Plan Clients
Plan sponsors can ‘opt-in’ to offer the provisions to participants.
OneAmerica Forgives Hardship Withdrawal Fees
The recordkeeper is making the move in response to the CARES Act.
Securian Removes COVID-19 and Hardship Withdrawal Fees
The firm is also offering free fiduciary and wellness services.
Investment Product and Service Launches
BNY Mellon expands investment lineup with ETFs, and American Century launches actively managed ETFs.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1861, after 34 hours of bombardment, the Union-held Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederates. In 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was officially incorporated in New York City. In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial. In 1954, Hank Aaron debuted with the Milwaukee Braves. In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win an Oscar for best actor. It was for his role in the movie “Lilies of the Field.” In 1970, an oxygen tank exploded on Apollo 13, preventing a planned moon landing. In 1976, the U.S. Federal Reserve introduced $2 bicentennial notes. In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament at the age of 21. He also set a record when he finished at 18 under par. In 1998, NationsBank and BankAmerica announced a $62.5 billion merger, creating the country’s first coast-to-coast bank.
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