Stocks are down this morning and one of the main reasons given (by those paid handsomely to give such opinions) is the sharp increase in the 10-year Treasury yield. But that isn’t all. Weekly Jobless Claims reportedly showed an unexpected decline in the number of first time filers.
Why might this concern investors? Many could be viewing stimulus presently being discussed as the last one in a while … as forecasts appear to be calling for the economy to start heating up.
And we all know what might that mean. Inflation!
Things have been good for a while for some as Datastream and TS Lombard report there is a great deal of money that has been saved during the pandemic (as with travel curtailed and many restaurants closed, a lot of discretionary money went into savings). While this could bode well for a continuation of stock market gains, it could also result in a jump in consumer prices … once the “spend again” button is pressed. And with the virus apparently getting under control, that could happen sooner than many had anticipated.
Of special interest this morning were two things.
First, we have all been reading about the rise in home prices. Well, it is unclear if that will continue. Not only are mortgage prices rising, but Evercore ISI reports that the ratio of existing home prices to median family income is the highest it’s been since during the housing bubble we experienced just over a decade ago.
Another interesting thing (maybe to go along with the increase in savings) comes to us by Oxford Economics/Haver Analytics, showing what appears to be a sharp increase in those working-age individuals who have just decided to retire. I don’t know what you hear, but when I speak with friends and parents of friends about retiring the word “Florida” seems to enter every conversation.
I also find myself looking at different communities down there on Zillow and thinking … “hmm.” And that scares me.
Meanwhile, starting to prepare my taxes, I went over my credit card and bank statements last night and am amazed as to how many “subscriptions” I have … because, of course, many times I intend to buy something once … and unwittingly sign up to re-up every year.
Not only is it almost impossible to find the way to stop these recurring charges, but organizations get quite angry when you do.
Just last week I cancelled my subscription to Scrabble Club.
… and now I’m getting threatening letters.
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 11:33AM today …
Quick Look at the News
While we have gotten used to shorter lines in the past year, one place where this was unexpected was in the unemployment line as fewer filed claims last week (NYPost)https://nypost.com/2021/02/25/us-jobless-claims-730000-filed-in-unexpected-drop/
… but maybe some just didn’t have time to go … as they sat on their computers figuring they could make even more money selling art and sports videos … digitally (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/25/nfts-why-digital-art-and-sports-collectibles-are-suddenly-so-popular.html
How important do many see the “clean energy” movement? With so many moving in that direction it could be a quite a boon to the U.S. economy (FastCompany)https://www.fastcompany.com/90607953/hitting-net-zero-by-2050-could-add-1-trillion-to-the-u-s-economy
Claiming to be an environmentalist while at the same time touting bitcoin must cause some internal strife … as the electricity used in a bitcoin’s creation is … tremendous (Benzinga)https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cryptocurrency/21/02/19847390/bitcoin-uses-more-electricity-than-any-method-known-to-mankind-says-bill-gates
Still, after all this time many of us continue to get bombarded with robo-calls … that have moved from the home phone to the cell phone. Here are ways to slow the madness (CNET)https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-stop-robocalls-every-way-we-know-to-prevent-the-annoying-ringing/
… and not only are some calls fake … but so is some cheese. What? The parmesan I buy might be an imitation? Is there no justice in this world? (RealSimple)https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food/how-to-shop-for-parmesan-cheese