Stocks are relatively flat this morning, but … for the moment at least … it appears the S&P500 will finish August with a positive monthly return … which would make seven consecutive months with this achievement. Keep in mind, though, that this is far from a record (especially when we consider that in 2017 every month reported a positive return).
But the positive result is not keeping naysayers at bay as, per the first story below, one strategist warns a 10% to 20% correction might be in the cards (and quite soon, at that). We will want to keep one thing in mind. The article touts the comment comes from a long-term bull … neglecting to note his call for a 10-15% pullback in Sept. 2020 … so maybe he is a long-term bull after all … for those who consider 11 months to be long term.
It is not only markets that some fear, as Civic Science reports (with info as of 8/19) people concerned about being in public space rose to … at or above … the highest level since March. While that is scary enough (at 24%) what I found more interesting was the comment that only 30% of the population claims to be “not at all concerned.”
… and it is tough to figure out if this is due to real worry or not (or just wanting to loaf off … or not loving workmates) … but BCA Research (using data from World Economic Forum) reports that 34% of the American labor force would prefer to work from home full-time! I am, of course, in that camp … for how else would I be able to catch up on my Netflix episodes?
Meanwhile, market gains appear to be widening the wealth gap more than ever before … and it could result in some pretty interesting election results in the future. Market Watch tells us that 41% of American voters do not have any retirement savings at all (and we might assume many in this camp are not in the universe of those receiving the highest level of social security payments). In addition, it is also being reported that 44% do not have any money to save (or invest) after expenses are paid. Yikes! So much for an emergency cushion.
That about wraps things up for today … as I have a lot of projects starting to pile up around the house.
I keep reminding my wife that if I promise to fix something, I will.
… and there is absolutely no need to remind me every 3 months.
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 11:42 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
Even as stocks hit new highs … one strategist notes similarities to 1999 and warns a correction could be at hand (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/30/market-is-mimicking-1999-it-could-spark-10percent-to-20percent-correction-btig.html
… and quite a few think inflation might be on the horizon as an increase in wages – necessary to attract workers – could result in higher prices (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/31/walgreens-to-raise-wages-for-hourly-workers-to-15-by-november-2022.html
Are you confused over claims as to how long vaccine protection might last? Join the club … as projections seem to be all over the place (NPR)https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/08/30/1032520934/immunity-to-covid-19-could-last-longer-than-youd-think
One of the interesting things surrounding retirement is the question of “what do I do now?” It is important, mentally, to either work longer … or find a hobby (StudyFinds)https://www.studyfinds.org/delayed-retirement-keeps-brain-cognition-stronger/
… and, who knows? You might be able to learn something new. A guitar is a good option … if others in your household are not in earshot until you improve (MarieClaire)https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/a37434207/playing-guitar-hobby/
China has long been interesting in how (and what) its children learn … but you need to wonder if banning them from playing online games will help … or hurt (PCMag)https://www.pcmag.com/news/china-bans-kids-from-playing-online-games-monday-through-thursday
… and many wonder how the constant battle we are facing now … with the virus (including shopping and work challenges) affects us mentally. Nike is giving workers a break (OregonLive)https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2021/08/nike-closes-offices-for-a-week-to-give-employees-a-mental-health-break.html