Stocks are mixed this morning as those who care about such things remain fascinated watching the “Reddit crowd” temporarily drive up individual stock prices to levels above which fundamentals, in many cases, don’t seem to support. Earlier this week it was cannabis stocks … which found both imbibers and individual securities reaching new highs.
But it might not only be this group that have driven markets to record highs as emotions do set in to stock investing at times … with catalysts of greed and FOMO (“fear of missing out”) very much in play.
What I found intriguing this morning were notes from SunTrust Private Wealth Management (via Daily Shot) showing demand for downside stock protection is at a 20-year low accompanied by the claim that the first phase of this bull market (strongest from a returns standpoint) is “likely over.”
Not only might greed be acting as the chauffeur on our interesting journey, for positive news continues on the virus front as well.
Evercore ISI is reporting that new cases are down in most countries and, yes, this does include the United States. Even more encouraging, the CDC provided the view that if fully vaccinated there might not be further need of quarantine for those exposed.
On a final note I was on a local neighborhood message board last night and read many complaints about not being able to get skilled workers to come in to re-do kitchens or bathrooms. Sure, people can be found … but these are areas where skilled workers are absolutely necessary. I guess being home forces us to look around more and realize some things we’d like to improve … and the unemployment issues right now really needs to be looked at on an industry-to-industry basis.
One example is a friend of mine who makes theater sets … for plays … productions … many of which will be closed for a while.
My friend the stage designer was recently laid off and … while he wasn’t happy about it …
… he left without making a scene.
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 11:49 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
While many of us are left wondering just when the Fed will boost rates, Chairman Powell is pointing to a bleak jobs picture and hints that an increase won’t happen soon (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/10/fed-chair-powell-citing-bleak-jobs-picture-says-policy-will-need-to-stay-patiently-accommodative.html
… and while the number of new claims is dropping we are still near historic highs … which seems to be the catalyst for stimulus talks to take on even greater urgency (NYPost)https://nypost.com/2021/02/11/us-jobless-claims-793000-filed-amid-covid-19-crisis/
Could the vaccine be the solution to get people mingling again? The CDC is providing the view that if fully vaccinated (and this means fully) you may not need to quarantine (Today)https://www.today.com/health/cdc-fully-vaccinated-people-don-t-need-quarantine-if-exposed-t208739
… but while staying away from other people might no longer be an issue, it might be good to limit your exposure to NY subways as pollution down below is pretty bad (TheGuardian)https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/10/subway-air-pollution-new-york-washington-dc
Staying on the environment, many consider solar as an answer to energy needs … warrants great care as it could generate more heat, creating all sorts of problems (TheConversation)https://theconversation.com/solar-panels-in-sahara-could-boost-renewable-energy-but-damage-the-global-climate-heres-why-153992
One of the biggest issues the elderly face is loneliness … for meeting and holding on to new friends at that stage of life is pretty difficult indeed (Esquire)https://www.esquire.com/uk/life/a35469234/losing-friends-in-later-life/
Those who think debt has gotten out of hand might want to rejoice (though we mean personal debt) as savings now is higher than credit card debt for most surveyed (BankRate)https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/credit-card-debt-emergency-savings-2021/