Stocks are down this morning as some of the air in the “things-are-improving” balloon has seeped out with employment numbers that are certainly nothing to celebrate. While a single aspect of a report is usually easy to discount, today there were a few items which could be causing some investors a bit of concern.
The initial jobless number for last week was troublesome enough … but the number reported the week before had an upward revision and continuing claims also moved higher. These certainly took analysts by surprise.
But the winter storm … and the resulting chaos in places such as Texas … might, ironically, end up helping the next few reports … as a lot of people (skilled and unskilled) might need to be hired to help clean up the damage.
Another bit of concern (not to be a “Debbie Downer”) is noting the amount of refineries in the Southern region temporarily closed. This could have quite a short-term effect on gas prices. Of course, my statement reminds me that I am soon to take a course related to proper behavior in the workplace of today. I hope I don’t get called on the carpet for characterizing Debbie this way.
There is some good/bad news regarding the virus. Growth in cases in the U.S. are declining as are the daily number of deaths. Is this because of the vaccine … people being more responsible … or just the normal course of the disease? It is unclear, as you might suspect states with “looser” rules would have a statistically higher number of problems … but this does not seem, right now, to be the case.
Meanwhile, I have my own problems. I had to go out last night for a few minutes and, getting dressed, realized some articles of clothing are getting a little … shall we say … tight.
It seems time to, once again, move the laundry off the stationary bike and treadmill and be a bit more careful about what I eat.
I was going to try this Mediterranean Diet … but I started shopping and it was too expensive. I mean almonds are incredibly costly to buy and I don’t understand why.
It’s just nuts.
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 11:30 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
How devastating has the virus been? In the U.S. life expectancy has dropped by one full year … which in this time of improved medicine is pretty shocking (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/02/18/covid-us-life-expectancy-record-low-blacks-latinos-most-affected/6778474002/
Stepping up to the plate (which should help many) is Walmart … as the company will be raising wages … but they will not be meeting the same minimum wage as competitors offer (DNYUZ)https://dnyuz.com/2021/02/18/walmart-will-raise-wages-for-425000-workers/
… for many are hurting … but the $1400 dollar stimulus now being discussed is estimated to keep many afloat until mid-summer (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/1400-dollar-stimulus-checks-would-help-keep-20-million-adults-afloat.html
McDonald’s is doing something pretty innovative … as … if time it right … you can go on a site and get chicken hoodie for a ridiculously low price. Life keeps getting better and better (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/16/business/mcdonalds-chicken-sandwich-launch-hoodie/index.html
… for who doesn’t like to save money? I am, however, shocked to learn that Amazon has a “secret site” for overstocks. I will certainly be checking it out later today (FoodandWine)https://www.foodandwine.com/lifestyle/kitchen/amazon-overstock-outlet-kitchen-deals
… another thing I will be looking at are these “sustainable” sneakers. If material used is eco-friendly and labor not taken advantage of … I’m in for a pair … but I need to read more (Instyle)https://www.instyle.com/fashion/cariuma-sustainable-sneakers-review
How far away from your table is the food you eat, with regard to where it was grown? If a few steps is your idea of freshness, vertical farming should be of interest (FastCompany)https://www.fastcompany.com/90603950/these-buildings-combine-affordable-housing-and-vertical-farming