Once again, stocks hit an intraday record this morning … as investors continue to ignore warnings. What I find most interesting is that records are not being set via an investor “buy anything that moves” mentality, but in small steps … and the Dow finds itself tiptoeing toward the 23,000 mark.
Probably the biggest news of the morning, in my view, came out of Wal-Mart which seems to be throwing down the gauntlet in a challenge to Amazon. The company came out with the claim that they see their online sales growing 40% in fiscal 2019. But let’s face it … they do have a tough hill to climb … I mean, if you are going to look online for an item … do you even think “oh, yeah … let me look that up on the Walmart site?” Who will win in this battle? There is a lot of money at stake.
The first article I included below is an important one … as it deals with social security … and a mistake here can be quite costly indeed. I mean … deciding when to take it has ramifications that can affect you for … literally … the rest of your life. So please, read all you can on this and get help if you don’t grasp it all (I have read a bunch and am still confused). The site SSA.gov is a good place to start.
On a final note for today, many know how much I look forward to the self-driving vehicles … but adoption could be another matter entirely.
I don’t know how many of you have driven on highways lately … but let’s face it … do you really go the speed limit and no higher? When you are on a street and the limit says “25 mph” … don’t you go a few miles above this because 25 seems so … so … slow? Even though the article deals with robotic cars not having horns (for … another robotic car cannot “hear” sounds), it also implies that there will be some getting used to for a car that doesn’t speed … and even stops at yellow lights.
That’s about it for this morning.
I was trying to look up autonomous car jokes on the internet and the only one I saw was:
“What will an autonomous car do when it sees a spaceman?”
“It’ll park, man.”
Oh, my … these cars (and improved jokes) had better be here soon.
Have a great day.
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 337-9230 ext. 6
… as of 11:11 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
Social security checks get larger ... the longer you wait to receive them ... but many decide to take a check the second they are able. Why? Reasons below (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/10/10/why-dont-more-people-wait-to-claim-social-security-at-70/106258566/
... and, speaking of social security, many keep their numbers hidden ... out of fear of stolen identities ... but there might be a better solution ... via the blockchain! I think we'll hear more of this in the near future (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-09/want-to-ditch-social-security-numbers-try-blockchain
Have a child starting to think about school? It's not so simple with the high costs involved. It's not a game ... but McKinney has created one to help guide families along (PRNewswire)http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/payback-online-game-by-mckinney-for-next-gen-personal-finance-helps-college-bound-students-manage-college-debt-300528384.html
Wal-Mart, of course, sees Amazon as a fierce competitor ... and expects to shortly give them a run for their money with the expectation that online purchases will explode (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-10/wal-mart-expects-online-sales-to-grow-40-as-it-chases-amazon
Air quality has improved in the U.S. over the past year. An increase in wind and solar has been given as causes ... but there is a problem coming up (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-06/air-quality-boost-in-u-s-as-co2-emissions-decline-1-7
... and that problem is some plans to reduce our carbon footprint might be shelved for a bit ... as the EPA is about to withdraw the "Clean Power Plan" (CNN)http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/09/politics/environmental-protection-agency-scott-pruitt-clean-power-plan/index.html
What could be one problem with robots ... as they seek to take over our driving? They follow the law. Imagine an entire fleet doing exactly the speed limit on a turnpike? Maddening, I tell you ... maddening! (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-10/it-s-no-use-honking-the-robot-at-the-wheel-can-t-hear-you