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

Good morning.

The economy in the third quarter did not do as well as many strategists expected as GDP growth came in at 2%. But, growth is growth and now focus will begin on the final quarter of the year. Of course, it should be pointed out that any forecasts today should be taken with an increasingly expensive grain of salt (since inflation is taking an effect here also) … since early GDP observations are almost always well off the mark.

But who can blame the “experts” for getting things wrong? There is little to go on … I mean … early this week I included an article mentioning that holiday sales will be held in check. Giving an opposite opinion, I include today an NRF forecast in a Reuters’ article concluding that “holiday sales” could well hit a record this season. Sometimes I think people just write nonsense to fill up a page or complete a paragraph … similar to what I am doing now.

Meanwhile initial jobless claims for last week hit a new pandemic low … and, focused more on positive news than negative, investors moved stocks into positive territory this morning. The employment number will be interesting to keep our eyes on as Amazon (among others) announced plans and hope for some fairly aggressive holiday hiring.

There is also something in the news for which I don’t know how to react. The CEO of Activision, a company under fire for sexual harassment allegations, announced that he is taking a substantial pay cut (99.9%) until things are “fixed.” I had to think about this for a few minutes as reducing your salary to just under $70,000 and seeing it as over a 99% cut had me clamoring to learn more about just how much he normally makes. It seems his promised compensation this year was north of $150 million and his net worth (depending on publication) is reported to be between $600 million and $7 billion. So, applause to the salary cut … though I am quite sure it will only have a tiny effect on … well … anything to do with his life.

This is a good segue into the next topic as, instead of tossing a surcharge on billionaires, it now seems the Biden Administration will propose a surcharge on some millionaires. A friend yesterday wrote that it is only a matter of time before many of us feel a hand in our pockets that isn’t ours. I laughed yesterday. I’m not laughing today.

I need to go shopping now and do my own part to help the U.S. economy.

I left a pot of boiling water on the stove last night, fell asleep and completely ruined it … and I woke up wondering where all the water went.

It will be mist.

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
cell: (856) 625-7915
wit@teamemerald.com
#vaccinatetosave

 

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