Stocks are solidly in record territory this morning as jobless claims fell below 800,000 for the second week in a row. Why excitement over such a high number? It seems that many are relieved that it is holding steady and not getting worse.
But when we say “not getting worse” we are speaking of jobless numbers and certainly not the virus by any means. Yesterday we had a record number of deaths and new cases … as the number of new cases was over a quarter-of-a million! Yikes! Let’s put this in perspective. The population of the U.S. is around 330 million. If it continues at this rate, within 2 weeks another 1% of our population will be afflicted. Fortunately many communities have set up websites to allow people to be updated on vaccine availability (with some allowing online appointments). I would certainly advise to keep this important website handy.
You might wonder why the market is ignoring all this. It’s not. Keep in mind that the market looks ahead (for it is often pointed out that stocks are a “leading economic indicator”). Related to this, according to Daily Shot, Goldman Sachs just boosted its GDP forecast … pointing out that while the virus has caused a “lag” spending will come once the great fear subsides … which it will.
There is one other item, though, that could be seen as a speed bump on the way to economic prosperity as James Pomeroy, of HSBC, expresses concern that the birthrate could drop below its “replacement” level as a result of the pandemic. Any who have taken economics courses recognize what births mean … diapers, baby food, cribs, home additions, many annoying photos to post online … you know the drill. A sharp reduction here could negatively affect quite a few areas.
Oh, and it just crossed the tape as I was writing that Elon Musk in now the richest person in the world! Just a short while ago, some were saying he was crazy. Crazy like a fox, I guess.
On a final note for today (and the last link included below) there is an article that helps you determine your “mortality” … um, how long you’ve got to live.
It is quite simple. You sit on the floor and, starting with a certain number, subtracting points if you get up using your hand (-1), knee (-1), side of leg (-1) … or other things. But this scorecard is certainly not perfect.
I sat on the floor and attempted to get up.
Calling for help to pick you up is not listed, so it must have a score of zero.
I’m going to live forever!
Have a great day.
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
cell: (856) 625-7915
… As of 11:06 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
If you have a small business … or know someone who does … you might want to make sure they are prepared to file for the next round of PPP loans (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/07/small-businesses-should-prepare-for-the-second-round-of-ppp-loans-.html
… for companies want not only to stay in business … but to keep their employees … except for, of course, those workers who go to the bathroom too much (Entrepreneur)https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/362881
Support for psychedelics is rising … which is quite interesting … I am scared enough that the driver in back of me is stoned … but now I have to worry about him hallucinating? (CivicScience)https://civicscience.com/support-for-psychedelics-popping-up-across-the-nation/
… meanwhile, I don’t need drugs to keep alert … as I always have coffee by my side. But I am told that there are side effects and there is a point beyond which coffee could be an issue (EatThis)https://www.eatthis.com/news-side-effects-coffee-mayo-clinic/
Yesterday I mentioned more news on fake meat … and now there is fake shrimp. Awesome! I guess fake vegetables are next (FastCompany)https://www.fastcompany.com/90591617/this-new-plant-based-shrimp-expands-the-fake-meat-menu
Get your insurance applications ready! There is a simple test you can do in the privacy of your home to check out your mortality. Frankly, I’m scared to try it (ArtofManliness)https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/take-the-simple-test-that-can-predict-your-mortality/