Markets today are mixed … as investors seem to be taking a breather waiting for word on how discussions are going between Trump and China with regard to trade. Will there be a “deal” that will relieve investor concern over a trade war? Or will both sides angry push away from the table, using public media to voice disapproval and contempt?
But at least one problem appears solved … for now … as the USMCA agreement has been signed. Of course, the President claims it to be quite an improvement over the more-pleasing-to-the-ears (in my opinion) NAFTA … though some are skeptical … especially since there are still some tariff issues to be resolved … and it seems Canada is making no secret in providing a view to many that their arms were twisted quite hard in order to get them to sign the accord.
The other day I received an interesting email message … seemingly sent by … of all people … me. A group proclaiming themselves as “international hackers” claimed they have access to porn sites I visited using my work address and will send details to all my contacts if I don’t immediately send $721 in Bitcoin to their wallet address. Of course, I have nothing to worry about in this regard … but the more disturbing comment in the email received is the accurate inclusion of a password I used in the past. Now I have to try to remember all the places I used this common (for me) password and change it for each one … what a pain.
What brought this to mind this morning was the Marriott announcement that 500 million accounts have information that has been ” breached” … including some (“millions”) where details include name, email, passport numbers and … potentially … credit card information.
That being said … while I was typing this note my cellphone rang … not once … but four times … with the first one identifying the phone number as coming from Laos! We seem to be at the mercy of technology and all the good (and bad) things that come along with it … though, I will admit, the increase in these calls on my cell phone are maddening (especially because they fill up my voicemail mailbox).
Two of the last three notes included below deal with an increasingly-troubling issue … as the quality of drinking water in some of our cities is substandard. There is even a report that citizens of an entire city (El Paso) will soon be drinking water that was once sewage … and has now been processed. Really? Well that certainly strikes this off as a place I want to visit.
But who knows? For future U.S. water needs we might have to look toward Canada.
I only hope we can keep our relationship on friendly terms.
Have a great weekend,
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
… as of 11:47 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
The weekend should provide some news concerning the tariff situation with China ... but will the market view it as positive or negative? We might have to wait until Monday to find out (BBC)https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46312845
... but at least we don't have to wait for the deal with Canada and Mexico to be signed ... as USMCA has just been finalized ... unless we decide to tear up the agreement which has been known to happen (Reuters)https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g20-argentina-usmca-signing-idUSKCN1NZ1L6
Interested in free shipping from Amazon with no purchase minimum required? Just use a special code and your goods will soon be on their way (Amazon)https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=527692
So ... you doctor accidentally took out a kidney instead of your appendix ... no problem ... for his career at least. If he loses license in one state, he might just decide to move to another (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/11/30/medical-board-license-failures-doctor-malpractice-move-states/2159948002/
How safe is our water? I don't know about you, but I am probably going to have mine tested though I am sure it is fine (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/28/health/enterprise-louisiana-water/index.html
... but imagine an entire city announcing you will soon be drinking cleaned sewerage water. Yikes. Sort of makes you shudder (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/30/health/water-climate-change-el-paso/index.html
... and Marriott has joined the club of companies where customer data has been possibly breached. But don't worry. Only around a half billion people might be affected (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/11/30/marriott-data-breach-may-affect-500-million-starwood-hotel-guest/2159962002/