Investors hoping for a market rebound following last week’s decline are probably comfortable seeing stocks in positive territory this morning … as the market remains within 1% of hitting yet another all-time record.
This, of course, had me puzzled as last week felt much worse than what the final numbers indicated … so I was compelled to look at the data so far this year and noticed the S&P has been up every single month since showing a slight decline in January.
Why do things just not feel so great? I think it is because I watch too much news and read too much stuff on social media.
One of the reasons behind optimism this morning could be thoughts … reported on Market Watch … that a feared Fed rate increase might not take place any time soon, as Dallas Fed President, Robert Kaplan … who was the first Fed official to call for an increase … appears to have softened his tone. He bases this on a possible economic slowdown brought on by the Delta Virus.
Yes … the virus. Certainly, a wild card for which news appears to change daily … and uncertainty and lack of clarity could be worse than the disease. With the number of daily cases and hospitalizations reported to be on the rise, Evercore ISI reports consumers are less comfortable with going out than they were just a short while ago … who can blame them? Stories included below tell us vaccinated people are now unsure of how protected they might be … and the blue surgical masks many have worn could be rather useless.
On top of this, rising prices are of concern and MS Research (using University of Michigan data) claims a sharp increase in fear that households will have a decline in real income (with inflation factored in).
And maybe we do really see too much negative stuff on the news … I mean … shouldn’t we be somewhat happy (with the increase in home prices, aggregate net worth and … well … relative safety)? It seems that we’re not … as the “World Happiness Report” ranks the “happiest countries” … and puts the U.S. in 19th place! How can this be? We have freedom, a great economy, relative safety, 486 cable channels and even the Kardashians! This doesn’t make any sense at all.
That’s about if for today. I have to clean my kitchen as I dropped some chickpeas on the floor and stepped on some … creating quite a mess.
It wasn’t by accident that I squashed them … so I wonder if this is considered hummuside.
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 10:09 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
Many organizations have been extending the timeframe for employees to return to the office and some are worried that this might last until sometime in 2023 (FoxBusiness)https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/remote-work-may-now-last-for-two-years-worrying-some-bosses
… and it is not as easy as announcing that you will hire anyone who will come in today … as good workers are not easy to find … putting financial plans in disarray (NPR)https://www.npr.org/2021/08/21/1028822744/finding-workers-is-harder-than-ever-the-economic-impact-could-be-significant
Why aren’t people comfortable rushing back to the office? It seems that every day the story changes and people … vaccinated or not … are unsure just how safe they are (MSN/Bloomberg)https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/the-vaccinated-are-worried-and-scientists-don-t-have-answers/ar-AANzgN7
… and if you think facemasks are the answer … you might want to think again … as safety from the common, blue, surgical masks might be psychological at best (DailyMail)https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9914969/Popular-blue-surgical-face-masks-NOT-stop-people-infected-COVID-19.html
With all the space travel attempted lately, travel to other worlds don’t seem so implausible anymore. We might be back on the moon soon … if Elon Musk gets his way (ScienceAlert)https://www.sciencealert.com/spacex-thinks-it-can-return-humanity-to-the-moon-before-2024
On our planet, the climate appears to be creating some problems with agriculture. One possible solution? Grow indoors … as large facilities have started to be built (RollingStone)https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/appharvest-hydroponic-greenhouses-kentucky-future-of-farming-1214262/
Retail sales number have been choppy of late, but one area seeing explosive growth is in medical marijuana. And if PA legalizes the drug, growth might pick up further still (Post-Gazette)https://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2021/08/23/sales-pennsylvania-legal-medical-marijuana-recreational-use-mergers-and-acquisitions/stories/202108190167