Markets opened the morning on a negative note as the public battle between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un intensifies. Reports are that global leaders are not yet worried that this will result in a catastrophic event … but some investors are paying closer attention to the childish and dangerous threats (my words) being lobbed over the fence by both sides.
It’s a shame.
The market found itself in a good place and focus was where it belonged … on the earnings and forecasts of corporations. But politics somehow entered into the equation and we find ourselves tuned to breaking news … which could have an effect on investments.
I often gripe … so here goes one for today.
There are few news stories of major significance, and so many are repeated throughout the day. What really drives me nuts is when Wolf Blitzer on CNN will announce there is “breaking news” and proceed to tell us something that has been in the main press (including on CNN) for hours.
When I was a kid, there would be an announcement of “… we interrupt this program to bring you a special bulletin …” and you would stop and listen for this was only done when there was actually earth-shattering news. Now almost every story is treated with such urgency and importance that breaking news has become nothing but background noise.
And this brings me to my final point for today … which is the last article posted below and further proof, in my view, that we are doomed to turn into a dumbed-down land of idiots.
Headline of article … and I, sadly, am not making this up: “Malia Obama Loses iPhone …”
I read the story and afterwards felt as if I lost some IQ points along the way. That, in itself, you shouldn’t find surprising if you know me at all.
My fear is others will hear I am losing my mind and act as if it something more important than it is by treating it as, of course …
… breaking news!
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 9:32 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
Scientists are up in arms over the possibility that a recent report ... claiming climate change is already affecting the U.S. ... will be swept under the rug by the White House (CNN)http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/politics/climate-change-report/index.html
... for what do you tell coal miners whose livelihoods depend on something that ... many claim ... is poisonous to them and so many others? (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-08/coal-plants-might-be-even-more-toxic-than-we-thought
... meanwhile, is wind power the answer? Many won't use it if they need to pay an extra charge ... and if federal tax incentives are reduced ... or cut ... it becomes an expensive alternative (Bloomberg)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-08/u-s-warns-of-uncertain-future-for-wind-amid-tax-credit-debate
While the "gender gap" between men and women's pay is narrowing, one retailer came up with an interesting concept. Charge men more. Actually, it's a donation but certainly grabs attention (CNN)http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/world/cafe-gender-pay-gap-trnd/index.html
... for publicity can actually change attitudes. If you don't think so, review what happened to airlines recently as the number of bumped passengers has declined (ChicagoTribune)http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-passenger-dragging-airlines-bump-20170808-story.html
We could be running into a problem in, say, 18 years or so. Fertility rates are the lowest ever recorded in the U.S. ... as some wait ... while others say "the heck with it" (CNN)http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/health/fertility-rate-lowest-recorded-2017/index.html
... but this has to be the news story of the day. One of Obama's kids lost her iPhone. Really? I'm surprised this story wasn't breaking news on CNN (PageSix)http://pagesix.com/2017/08/07/malia-obama-loses-iphone-at-lollapalooza/