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Good morning.

Markets are near the end of a pretty tough week as inflation and Covid concerns took the wind out of the sails for those expecting a smooth ride into the end of the year.

We do lump both inflation and the virus into the same conversation due to the effects each of them, jointly or separately, has on so many things.

But here is the problem.  No one has any idea on how this virus story will end (although that won’t stop the many contradictory and confusing opinions).

I bring up the following to prove this point.

I read some rather great news out of South Africa this morning where a Bloomberg headline screamed: “South Africa Hospitalization Rate Plunges in Omicron Wave” while, at the same time, CNN reports the director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota claims: “A Viral Blizzard is About to Hit the U.S.” … and … “Millions to be Infected Soon.”

So … on the one hand the virus seems as if it is turning into a “nothingburger” … while, on the other, claims are many of us will become pretty sick in time for the holiday season.

My advice on handling this?

Get some really good egg nog, curl up with a warm blanket, turn off the news and put on a fantastic movie.  Continuing to follow every bit of advice will drive you nuts.

I’m too lazy to write more today so will stop here … and maybe head over to the mall (masked) to pick something up at lunchtime.

I was there yesterday and ran into some small kids who saw Santa and started screaming.

… I think they were Clausetrophobic.

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 17, 2021

As of 11:58 AM today …

Is inflation that much of a problem?   Some might think so by looking at basic numbers, but what is reported might not tell the whole story (YankeeInstitute)

https://yankeeinstitute.org/2021/12/15/inflation-may-be-much-higher-than-reported-and-that-could-hurt-seniors-and-the-poor/

There is a bit of improvement being seen with the hospitalization rates in South Africa.  Hopefully, there will soon be an improvement around the globe (NYPost)

https://nypost.com/2021/12/17/south-african-hospitalization-rates-drop-during-omicron-surge/

… keeping in mind that there is a “lag” … depending on which part of the world you happen to be in.  Right now some claim the U.S. is “in for it” … while others see now cause for alarm (CNN)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/17/health/us-coronavirus-friday/index.html

The cryptocurrency market has gained a lot of interest from those reading of success stories. But will those who succeeded continue to invest? (CNBC)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/16/millennial-millionaires-plan-to-add-more-crypto-in-2022.html

… because there is (as there always is with speculation) risk in losing everything … and some think the money to be made in some cryptocurrencies has come and gone (CNBC)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/17/bitcoin-may-not-last-that-much-longer-academic-warns.html

So much for sustainability!  Coal continues to be used throughout the world, regardless of new technologies … and it appears that this strong use might continue (CNN)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/17/business/coal-climate-energy-iea-report-intl/index.html

“A Christmas Story” is a well-known holiday movie … and if you wonder about that kid’s tongue getting stuck to the flagpole … well, don’t do it.  If you do, here is the solution  (ArtofManliness)

https://www.artofmanliness.com/skills/manly-know-how/what-to-do-if-your-tongue-gets-stuck-to-a-flagpole/

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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.