The two major stock indexes (the S&P500 and Dow) are up this morning, as a jobs report showed a strong gain in February employment … while dropping the unemployment rate to 6.2%. One group benefiting seems to be restaurant and bar employees … as increasingly-confident patrons, once again, start trickling in. Other workers might soon re-join the rolls of the employed … as Daily Shot reports that more Americans are opening up to the idea of flying within the next 6 months.
Let’s not sound the “all’s clear” signal just yet. The Department of Labor is reporting “the U.S. economy remains 9.5 million payrolls short of pre-pandemic levels.” It certainly will take an awful lot of us to return to our old habits to narrow this gap substantially.
I have to admit, it is sometimes difficult to figure out what to write (and I love receiving “pun suggestions” to consider) … but early this morning someone from South Africa sent me a note that I found both funny and tremendously sad at the same time. In fact, it was so shocking that I had to see for myself … as I didn’t believe him.
I was invited to Google the phrase: “how to find out how old a tree is” … and the first sentence of the response is “If you know when a tree was planted, you can easily and accurately determine its age.” Oh, my!
This certainly made me stop and wonder just what the heck is going on all around me … as I often wonder if having so much information at our fingertips actually has made us lazier … and whether our increasing quest for fast results has actually hurt us …with education (and thinking) taking a back seat. By the way, if you want to see an interesting reaction … try handing a cashier a $2 bill. If the manager or police aren’t called, I’d be surprised.
I write a lot of stories but must admit the last one below stopped me dead in my tracks and … even the opening sentence … tells us something that explains just how crazy this world is right now.
It seems there is a student in Baltimore. His success in school is somewhat limited … as in 4 years, he only passed 3 classes (yet kept being moved up the line). His GPA? 0.13 … yes, you read that right. But even that isn’t the most shocking part. This student is near the top half of his class.
I’m not blaming the student. I’m blaming the system.
As I implied … by mentioning the Google note and the education note and other things in recent weeks … I am starting not to “get” what seems to be going on all around me.
Even deciding that Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are no longer male and female has a profound effect.
… as it means, quite sadly, there will be no more Tater Tots.
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 10:52 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
The employment number seemed fairly good for February as people start tiptoeing back into restaurants and bars (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/05/jobs-report-february-2021.html
… but some continue to ask just what is safe to do once they are vaccinated. Here the CDC brings us guidelines … which, as we learn, are highly subject to revision (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/05/health/cdc-vaccinated-covid-19-guidelines-wait/index.html
Many are hopeful that a bipartisan bill has legs (though many versions have been attempted over the years) to stop lawmakers from investing in stocks their actions affect (TheHill)https://thehill.com/policy/finance/541425-bipartisan-bill-would-ban-lawmakers-from-buying-selling-stocks
Did you ever consider just how much trash your family generates on a daily basis? You might be able to save money and help reduce waste … simply by “repurposing” items (FamilyHandyman)https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/80-old-items-totally-fit-for-repurposing/
… yet you might want to also focus on just how much food gets tossed in the trash … either not eaten or purchased and now past an expiration date (Aljazeera)https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/3/5/this-is-how-much-food-gets-wasted-and-what-you-can-do-about-it
Study? Why bother? Just pass a class or two … and get moved up the line. This one story depicts a sad tale of how some parts of the education system could be failing us (FoxNews)https://www.foxnews.com/us/baltimore-student-fails-classes-top-half