Stocks are showing slight gains as investors appear as if they are becoming more in tune with the thought that a little bit of inflation might not be enough to derail our economic train.
One reason given for this morning’s optimism is a better-than-expected result in initial jobless claims. This number continues to trend downward … providing hope that we are heading back to a more normal environment. But we are not quite there yet.
The other day I was at Chick-fil-A (I suspect my son is addicted) and drive-in service was quite fast … as employees took your order (and payment) as you got in line … and as soon as you drove to the other side of the building, cheerful staff had your order in hand.
Last night was quite different.
The line was pretty long, employees were fewer … and as I finally received my food order, I asked about staffing … although I suspected that I knew the response in advance. I was told they were having problems getting enough people to work and, when pressed for a reason, I learned, “we had some people who are making more money sitting home.” This continues to be a problem (especially in the fast food industry) … for entry-level types of employees get more than money … they get experience … and some seem to be missing out.
Bitcoin (and other “cryptos”) had quite a ride yesterday … falling around 30% before recovering most of that since then. While some investors feel it is close to worthless (Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers and Mike Burry – of “The Big Short” fame), Cathie Wood recently announced on Bloomberg that the Bitcoin price will rise to $500,000 (it stands around $41,000 right now). It is interesting how smart people can have such varying opinions.
A few people asked if I had finally broken 100 playing golf yesterday afternoon. I don’t want to talk about it.
… but speaking of a sport a pitcher yesterday got credit for the 6th “no-hitter” of the young baseball season. The sport of baseball certainly seems to be changing … as in every game I watch it appears batters are swinging for the fences on every pitch. The strikeout rate is out of control and it is becoming even less fun to watch a game than ever before. Just saying.
On a final note for today (and maybe a bit controversial) I included an article on “gender pronouns” as more institutions are including this in school literature. I really have to focus as, to my ear, it sounds a bit strange.
Example: “That’s what ze said.”
It will take me quite a bit of time to get used to this.
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 11:41 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
The employment situation seems to be inching its way back toward pre-pandemic levels … but there is still quite a bit to go (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/20/weekly-jobless-claims.html
The big switch from coal to natural gas cured one problem … but created another as methane levels are increasing quite a bit (DailyMail)https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9598123/Last-year-methane-levels-biggest-jump-scientists-began-tracking-1983.html
… yet in a shocking bit of news an oil advocate appears to be saying we should turn our backs on fossil fuels … and prepare for the future ahead (Mic)https://www.mic.com/p/one-of-big-oils-biggest-advocates-says-we-need-to-stop-investing-in-fossil-fuels-79194103
Do you suddenly feel the need to escape? Well, if some island destination is not far enough you might want to try outer space. But it will cost you (BusinessInsider)https://www.businessinsider.com/blue-origin-auction-highest-bid-jeff-bezos-space-flight-2021-5
With all we have reading in the past year about how a little bit of wine is good for your health … it might not be good for the brain as this article claims any amount of alcohol is damaging (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/19/health/alcohol-brain-health-intl-scli-wellness/index.html
I am not sure how or when I’ll get used to this … but the gender pronoun thing is gaining more prominence … so here is a cheat-sheet of sorts (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/19/us/gender-pronouns-wellness-explainer-trnd/index.html