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

Good morning.

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
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 11:47 AM today …

Quick Look at the News

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