Normal stuff happening. Stocks up slightly, my coffee tastes horrible, people continue to freak out over the virus, politicians are making up stuff and the Fed appears as if it ready to announce it will take a wait-and-see attitude regarding policy.
I saw a note from the Conference Board showing consumer confidence dropped in July … but let’s get serious. When we do venture out of our homes we check our pockets for iPhone, keys, wallet and now a mask. If we do go to a supermarket, we rush through the store being careful not to pass within 6 feet of what now we view as an attacker. And few of us are still used to this mask thing. When we do catch the eye of someone, we habitual smile … though we feel silly when we realize our mouths are hidden by fabric. Then only good thing, for me, is that I keep thinking cute girls are smiling back … especially the cashiers who are always checking me out.
One concern hitting today’s business news is talk about the amount of possible evictions as Statista reports that 40% of renters face this risk. I took this a bit further and found a report by New York Fed that 51% of evictions are due to either income drop or job loss. Yes, this virus is certainly taking its toll on so many people.
I received yet another note from my son’s school confirming that virtual classes will be the norm this year … and children will be staying home for, at least, the first half of the year. Note that not every state has such a directive and some states insist that kids attend physical classes.
But there are a couple of issues.
A very disturbing report (second story below) coming from Germany shows that over 75% of people who survived coronavirus have heart damage. The study, however, was performed on individuals over the age of 45. We just don’t know at this stage if in young school-age children – even asymptomatic ones – organs in addition to the lungs are affected … and to what degree.
There was also a note from Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which claims that 6.4% of seniors over the age of 65 live with school age kids.
Don’t get me wrong … I think high school is quite important and remember my days at Babylon High School with a great deal of fondness. I wanted the same experience for my son, but now with the virus’ uncertainly my attitude changed. I want him to remain at home.
On a final note I hope my note today wasn’t too depressing. I tried to search out humorous things to include … even comments where people make light of the coming end of the world.
I found a bunch.
It seems people are writing jokes about the apocalypse like there’s no tomorrow.
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 11:21 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
Consumer confidence dropped in July which should be of no surprise ... as it is tough feeling confident when you step outside into a world that has changed so much (MarketWatch)https://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-confidence-wanes-in-july-and-points-to-rockier-economic-recovery-2020-07-28
... and the news continues to get a bit worse ... as it seems that even if you survive the virus, there is a decent chance you will have heart damage (People)https://people.com/health/three-quarters-recovered-coronavirus-patients-have-heart-damage-months-later/
The Fed will shortly announce its plan ... but the thought is that they will do nothing as they sit back to see just what will happen next with the virus (and ponder it economic effect) (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/29/powell-is-expected-to-say-the-fed-will-keep-doing-whatever-it-can-while-it-considers-its-next-move.html
... but sitting back is not something homeowners should be doing if paying a high interest loan. Many are trying to refinance but the caveat is you must have great credit (Time)https://time.com/nextadvisor/mortgages/refinance/refinance-with-bad-credit/
... and good credit is hard for come by for those without a job. Sadly, almost half of all jobs lost during the pandemic won't be coming back (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/07/29/almost-half-of-all-jobs-lost-during-coronavirus-may-be-gone-permanently/112446072/
Many tell you the first thing you must do when budgeting is to put months of money away for an emergency fund. Um ... sorry. That kind of thinking might be wrong (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/select/pay-off-credit-card-debt-or-save-for-emergency-fund/