Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
VP of Product Development Emerald Asset Management

Good morning.

First of all, let’s start the day off with a smile as news breaks surrounding the safe evacuation of those kids in that cave in Thailand. The second story below (via BBC) gives some pretty good detail of what was involved and the eventual movie will be fascinating indeed.

Getting back to the markets I find interesting the comments of Sam Stovall of CFRA (first note below) … who warns that trade tensions “are more dangerous than Wall Street thinks.” Never one to be short of great analogies, Sam points out that investors have discounted the present situation but implies that the danger lies in what is not being anticipated as he said, “a boxer is rarely felled by the punch he expects.”

It seems confidence has, in part, returned to markets in recent days. Not only is the Dow approaching 25,000 but Daily Shot claims “Americans are using their credit cards again.” But employment is strong so what is the problem with that? The Fed is reporting interest rates on credit cards are at multi-year highs while, at the same time, student loans outstanding have now broken above $1.5 Trillion. This is not just some number to be discarded. Let’s think about this for a moment. I divide this by 333 million Americans and it comes to $4,505 per person. At some point this could hurt our growth. No wonder some think the new game show where the prize is to pay off student debt (last story below) could attract quite a fan base.

Meanwhile … do you remember the big brouhaha over IHOP changing its name? Fooled you! The company announced it was a gimmick and … well … I’ll say … it was an ingenious marketing move as it got them free publicity and now many people know IHOP also sells burgers. Of course, I would never go there for one … but some will … who thought that they had little more to offer than (great) pancakes.

And Southwest, citing safety issues as it pertains to allergies … will no longer serve peanuts on flights.

This is not a problem as I suspect most people took and opened the tasteless little critters out of boredom but you have to wonder about those Southwest fliers as they think of those flying on other airlines being served these legumes.

Will they have a sudden case of peanuts envy?

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
wit@teamemerald.com

… as of 10:16 AM today …

Quick Look at the News

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