Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
VP of Product Development Emerald Asset Management

Good morning.

Well, the new year hasn’t started off so well for investors as they were met with a pretty rude “how do you do” and were greeted with a 300-point drop in the Dow (though it has come back a bit as of this writing).

We are about to be hit with a lot of stories of how early January will give us an indication of how the market will be the rest of the year. But let’s not get too crazy. Just before stocks in 2018 had their “worst year in a decade,” this was the headline posted on January 24, 2018 on CNBC:

CNBC, Jan 24, 2018: “The stock market is off to its best start in 31 years and that bodes well for the rest of 2018!”

Oops!

I won’t get into China and possible economic slowdown until later this week (maybe) but I do want to point out the result of one survey conducted by Axios and reported in Daily Shot. People think things are worse (for others) than they themselves are experiencing when describing the past year. I know that’s a weird sentence so I’ll try to explain in better in the following paragraph.

In survey result, 32% of respondents think things are “great” for themselves, but only 16% see things as great for the U.S. 28% classify their own situation as “worrisome” … but calling the U.S. situation worrisome? 48%. 18% describe their own situation as “awesome” but only 9% feel the same about the country … and 19% describe their own situation as “chaotic” … but describing the U.S.? 40% feel the national situation is chaotic.

It seems that when we look at our own situation, things are not so bad … but collectively we feel the U.S. is in much worse shape. Stories in the news and the political fighting (which seems more combative with every passing day) could be making admittedly-comfortable individuals quite anxious about the country as a whole. When you think about it, this really doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

But that’s okay.

On a final note, we are about to read more articles about how stocks today and in the next few days will forecast the rest of the year’s action … and are about to see experts tell us where they see markets this year. Hopefully, their notes will be followed up by comments on why they were so wrong last year.

If you do read these expert opinions, please have some salt nearby.

Based on their past history, you might want to keep a grain or two handy while reading their stuff.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
wit@teamemerald.com

… as of 10:59 AM today …

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