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

Good morning.

One of the most interesting articles I read this morning had to do with news on the increase in the number of virus cases … and how we are becoming “desensitized” … by the many daily accounts.  This is not an unexpected occurrence … as we typically ignore news that seems constantly repeated … though, unfortunately, this increases the tendency to ignore any words of advice.

Investors this morning appear to be more focused on earnings than anything else and with this morning’s positive market move U.S. stocks are around a percent away from achieving yet another S&P 500 record.  One person who is not worried about any effects from a covid variant is Bill Ackman who, in the first story below, gives his view that the U.S. economy is on the doorstep of a massive economic boom in the fall.  

But Ackman’s comments on Americans running back to restaurants is interesting … especially in light of enormous hiring difficulties seen by the industry.  I base this on a poll result published by Alignable that points out the number one area with “hiring struggles” continues to be restaurants.  

And fears over a third or fourth wave (I’ve lost track of the number) certainly won’t help.

In the same survey, however, I was surprised that basic retail hiring appears to be improving, as it also claims Americans are starting to spend more on clothing.  I figure people either want to look good when they are seen in public for the first time in a year or their pre-pandemic clothing doesn’t fit anymore.  Regardless of the reason, this is a good thing … as spending drives the economy.

With the recent (temporary?) drop in treasury yields, people might again want to explore refinancing their homes.  Sure, many already took advantage … but one important thing mortgage providers review is the amount of equity you have in a home.   With the sharp run-up in prices over the last year, I just have to think that some might now qualify who would not have qualified before.  It is really worth taking a few minutes, in my view, to see if refinancing does make sense for you … especially if this is used only to lower payments on your home and not as some sort of ATM (which hurt many people before).

That about wraps it up so far today as I just received some bad news that upsets me a bit.

I entered a lottery for the 2022 Masters and received an email moments ago that told me I was not selected for tickets.

But even worse … although I did ask.

They didn’t even invite me to play.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
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 11:20 AM today …

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