Stocks are slightly down this morning, even as investors absorb positive news on the labor front (evidenced by a lower jobless claims number than feared).
Why isn’t there a more favorable reaction to what some consider positive news? A couple of concerns might be on the mind of investors. First of all, the number of cases seems to be … how do I say this without sounding alarmist? … skyrocketing. Here in the northeast I see that local schools are thinking of going all-virtual again, with the same action being considered by New York State. In fact, New York already announced a curfew on bars and restaurants starting this Friday … causing some to wonder if this will expand to other businesses, or be copied in other states.
A second economy-related concern is how people themselves might react to the continuing news of the worsening effects of the virus. A group called “Civic Science” put up a graph this morning that shows the result of a U.S. Census survey which asked: “compared to last year do you feel it more or less important to give gifts this holiday season?” While a majority responded that there was no change in importance, only 8% said “more important,” while a shockingly high said “less.” There has been great hope that parents would be increasing holiday gifting for their housebound children. We can only hope that those who do give gifts this year … spend a bit more … as many businesses (especially smaller shops) do count on the holidays as an important revenue source for the year.
Of course … a lot of what I write about deals with surveys and studies … and the most interesting one I found this morning is a report on Investopedia. What do you think was the most read article during the period just after the election? Presidents and the stock market? Nope. Socialism? No again. How to invest in Bitcoin? Not even close. It seems the most read article immediately following the election was, “Best Marijuana ETFs for Q4 2020.” Just saying (and, in case, you are wondering … I was not one of those who downloaded the article).
The final note to bring up today is an interesting one that will certainly come up more-and-more for discussion as people viewed the quick virus recovery of the President and Chris Christie and ask (per article below) if the rich and powerful have better access to experimental treatment than the rest of us commoners. Right now it is a quiet discussion but talk might get louder as cases grow along with calls for the rationing of cures and vaccines over the next few months.
And one of my geography-challenged friends sent me a note early today complaining that can’t seem to find anything made in the USA anymore.
They bought a TV that said, “Built in Antenna” and told me they don’t even know where that is.
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 11:46 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
The jobless claims report was a bit better than expected this morning as fewer filed first time claims last week (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/12/us-jobless-claims-709000-vs-740000-estimate.html
… but some workers – that do not work in the home – might be forced to figure out what to do with their kids … as virtual learning looks more likely in the coming months (Fox29)https://www.fox29.com/news/teachers-union-more-pennsylvania-schools-should-go-virtual
I know I touched upon it yesterday, but hospitalizations are rising … and certain locations are starting to get concerned over a shortage of both beds … and staff (NBCNews)https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/covid-hospitalizations-soar-states-struggle-find-enough-beds-staff-n1247432
New York is also worried … and the governor, taking a proactive step, announced a curfew starting this coming Friday (DNYUZ)https://dnyuz.com/2020/11/12/new-york-will-require-bars-and-restaurants-to-close-by-10-p-m/
… and while New York only wants visitors who show they have tested negative … there is a way around that. Just buy the negative test result (NYPost)https://nypost.com/2020/11/11/black-market-for-negative-covid-19-tests-pop-up-across-the-globe/
Are you seeing powerful people getting the virus … yet quickly cured? There could be a reason for that. It seems they get special treatment (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/12/coronavirus-bioethicists-worry-the-rich-and-powerful-will-get-special-access-to-experimental-treatments-.html
Zoom calls … so frequent nowadays ... and necessary … but that doesn’t stop the fashion police from telling you what you should … and shouldn’t … wear (TheLadders)https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/7-things-you-shouldnt-be-caught-dead-wearing-to-a-zoom-call