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Good morning.

The market has come off of early morning gains and, at the moment, is little changed in comparison with last night’s close … and it might be due to investors being a bit concerned over reported inflation numbers.

Inflation … reported to be up 6.8% on an annualized basis … is the highest since 1982.  Is the economy heating up that much … or are wage pressures (with that $7.25/hour rate dead and buried) to blame? This is top of mind right now as the Atlanta Fed is reporting quite a jump in worker earnings … with hourly workers doing better than others.

But with all these increases in prices … one question to ponder is … just where does that leave retirees?  While social security will rise 5.9% next year, this is still below inflation … and this, on top of paltry rates at the bank … could leave many of the elderly behind.  There is another issue for the rest of us with all of these price increases … as Daily Shot reports a 96% probability that there will be 3 rate hikes in the coming year.  Ouch.

Even with all of this, household net worth (thanks to home and stock increases) hit a record high according to Evan Lorenz, editor at Grants Interest Rate Observer) and Market Watch is quick to point out that this net worth has risen for a sixth straight quarter.

Maybe this (the net worth number) is why University of Michigan reported that consumer sentiment unexpectedly jumped in December.

Sorry to focus on inflation and costs … but there is a lot out there this morning … including a not-so-good item for it appears the wealth gap continues to widen.

USDA is reporting a jump in “food insecure” families … and the inflation number won’t help that at all.  It seems that 6.7% of Americans used “food pantries” in 2020 and the number of households considered “food insecure” is above 10%.  One problem I will bring up is that it is somewhat easy to think about the needs of others (and how we can help) during the holidays … but those who are “food insecure” are in need during February, March, April … I mean … all year ‘round.  Just saying …

That about wraps it up for today, as I have to get my kid over to his job.

It is in a supermarket and today they have him in the bakery section.  He has no aspiration to be a cook … and doesn’t care for baking … so it might be an unenjoyable day.

Why does he do it?

I guess he just kneads dough.

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
wit@teamemerald.com

 #vaccinatetosave

Quick Look at the News | December 10, 2021

As of 11:30AM today …

Inflation numbers were released this morning and … wow … were at the highest growth rate seen in many a year. Great! Just in time for Christmas shopping! (NPR)

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/10/1062794539/november-cpi-inflation-high-prices-for-consumers

… and while many ponder how lucky recent grads are … when faced with open job positions in so many places … recognize that many did not land traditional jobs (CNBC)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/10/50percent-of-the-class-of-2020-got-full-time-jobs-6-months-after-graduation.html

NASA gave an interesting observation … something right up Rod Serling’s alley … by noting the possibility that aliens might once have visited our planet (TheSun)

https://www.the-sun.com/news/4238103/aliens-may-have-visited-earth-nasa-report/

… but if they revisit in another couple hundred years, what might aliens find? Plastic that we are using today … as it seems to be everywhere … including within our own bodies (NewAtlas)

https://newatlas.com/medical/first-study-plastic-toxic-effects-human-cells/

… yet one country recognizes that the health of its citizens is quite important and plans to make it impossible for younger people to smoke. Ever. (BBC)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-59589775

As our population ages, you might get the impression that the sale of reading glasses will increase. Well … maybe not … as the FDA approved eye drops that might improve vision (CBSNews)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vuity-eye-drops-fda-approved-blurred-vision-presbyopia/

Do you own crypto? Well, it is all the rage right now and advisors are starting to tout it … for everybody … though you wonder what their “cut” is for having others take on the risk (CNBC)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/09/you-should-have-crypto-in-your-portfolio-no-matter-your-age.html

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The statements above are supplied for educational purposes only. The statements depict the viewpoints and opinion of the author and are not necessarily the views of Emerald Asset Management or its affiliates. The information described herein is taken from sources which are believed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed by us.