My note might appear a bit different this morning as we are using a new way to send it out. I’m kind of nervous … but that’s nothing new. With all going on in the world right now, nervous is something to which I have become quite accustomed.
First of all markets are up this morning as investors celebrate the start of … as it is known on Wall Street … the Santa Claus Rally. I included an article below on this as someone, somehow, noticed that historically the last five trading days in December, plus the first two in January, resulted in a market gain 77.9% of the time. And so far this is holding true … as stocks are showing a slight gain so far this morning.
While we celebrate positive moves in the market, famed hedge fund manager and philanthropist Ray Dalio gives the view that market gains this year have resulted in an even greater widening in the wealth gap in this country … and warns of the possibility of conflict of some sort as a result. An issue as I see it is that the disparity seems so obvious around the holidays … as the Toys for Tots programs and the Salvation Army bell ringers are quite visible … yet the plight for many continues throughout the entire year. And delays and battles in Washington over stimulus won’t help matters any.
Stimulus is not the only thing taking longer than expected. There are so many things being shipped nowadays, that the post office is warning that some items might not be delivered until after the holidays. This doesn’t limit itself just to presents … but the vaccine as well.
Ah, yes … the vaccine. While it has arrived in some areas … my mom is scheduled for her shot on Tuesday … there is a report that it is going much slower than expected as distribution snafus are slowing its arrival. Not only does the vaccine have to safely arrive at locations, but people need to be available to administer the shots … and as the article points out below … well … it is not going as well as designed.
Speaking of packages, I am pretty excited as UPS has a service (“follow my delivery”) where they notify you if an item is arriving … and you can follow the truck on a map and know exactly where it is. When waiting for a much-desired item, watching the truck head towards your home is better than Netflix!
That’s about if for now. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and just remember that no matter how different this Christmas might be … it will make next year’s holiday seem all the more special.
This year it is Pottersville but next year it will be Bedford Falls. And I look forward to spending some wonderful time with so many of you throughout the new year.
Have a great day and Merry Christmas.
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
Quick Look at the News
One of the most interesting (and cutest) sayings on Wall Street is the famed “Santa Claus Rally.” Is it just a silly saying without substance? History says “no” (Finance.yahoo.com)https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-market-santa-claus-rally-morning-brief-105758501.html
… and while investors might be smiling with visions of positive stock market returns, some awaiting other gifts might not be so joyous … as lots of shipping strains the system (NPR)https://www.npr.org/2020/12/23/949827797/millions-of-christmas-gifts-may-arrive-late-due-to-overload-at-the-postal-servic
… meanwhile, delivery of gifts is not the only problem we are facing … available vaccine is not yet reaching intended targets (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/12/23/covid-19-vaccines-slower-operation-warp-speed/4032188001/
Many of us have the view that we will get past the present problem with the virus and things will return to normal … but one vaccine firm’s CEO claims that might take some time (BusinessToday)https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/covid-19-will-be-around-for-next-10-years-says-biontech-ceo-ugur-sahin/story/425854.html
… so I thought at this time I would toss in an interesting story pertaining to the second wave of the 1918 virus, and the effect on San Francisco … including their own battle with masks (SFGate)https://www.sfgate.com/sfhistory/article/spanish-flu-second-wave-san-francisco-1918-15803570.php
I love a good story and it is always a joy to listen to a good storyteller. I wish I was better at it so will be sure to read this article. If you plan to tell me a story, please read it too (ArtofManliness)https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-tell-better-stories/