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Good morning.

There is an increase in contagion going on this morning and … no … I am not talking about the virus … I am talking about concern over the economic effects of the virus … as information (and misinformation) is quickly being disseminated from the hands of anyone with access to a keyboard.

But the virus is not the only item out there having an effect on investors … as the Biden “Build Back Better” plan is either dead in the water … or going back to the drawing board (depending on which story told is correct).  In regard to this, CNN reports that Goldman Sachs cut its Q1 economic growth forecast by 1/3 (to 2% from 3%) due to a Democratic Senator’s announcement that he will cast a “no” vote … if the present plan is brought up to the Senate.

As if all this wasn’t enough, Bloomberg is reporting an inflation forecast for the coming year jumped.  It is now at 4.2% … which, if transferred over to the bond markets, could cause mortgage rates to spike … possibly throwing icy water on the housing market.

A friend asked me yesterday if there was/is any light at the end of the tunnel and the answer is “yes” (at it always is).  During the last Covid scare, markets rebounded when people recognized we would get through it … and pent up demand would occur.  Well, from what I am reading (keeping in mind this is all from my own thoughts), there looks to be an ugly virus spike … but after that … well … there is (according to Oxford Economics/Haver Analytics) a very large, disposable cash buffer in the U.S. … to the tune of 11% of our GDP.  People are already tired of being bunkered down.  When the “coast is clear” bell sounds … and it eventually will … exuberance might take over … which was already in the forecast, but delayed due to the variant. And when it does … well … I think I had better get my spring restaurant reservations in now.

That’s about it for today.

A friend of mine – who takes everything quite literally – called me earlier and asked me to come over to be with him while he brushed his teeth.  I thought that was ridiculously strange until I asked him why.

It seems his dentist told him that brushing alone will not prevent cavities.

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 20, 2021

As of 10:44 AM today …

The easier-to-catch Omicron variant arrived just in time to concern investors who were looking forward to revelers celebrating the holidays.  Celebrations might now be subdued (CNBC)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/20/omicron-casts-a-shadow-over-winter-holidays-as-countries-mull-strict-restrictions.html

… but many can’t wait for the new year to arrive anyway as minimum wage will be going up in some areas … followed by a possible increase in spending (USAToday)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/12/20/minimum-wage-states-raise-15/8935133002/

… yet … if timed correctly … one item that can be taken off your expense list … for a couple of weeks … is charging your electric vehicle.  It will be “fee” if off-peak. Happy holidays (TechTimes)

https://www.techtimes.com/articles/269569/20211219/tesla-supercharger-station-free-off-peak-use-tesla-supercharger-station-tesla-supercharger-overcrowding.htm

One of the main labor problems cited in 2021 was just millennials refusing to take available positions.  It might be more than that … with retirees to blame (CNN)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/18/business/labor-shortage-boomers-millennials-nightcap/index.html

What’s in a name?  Everything, it seems … especially as marketing goes … so one vacation hot spot is trying to write its own script … and bury the “dirty Myrtle” comments (WFAE)

https://www.wfae.org/south-carolina/2021-12-19/south-carolinas-myrtle-beach-doesnt-want-to-be-dirty-myrtle-anymore

It is good to be quite quick in your responses … but did you ever wish something was said differently … or not at all?  Here are some points you may want to ponder (BusinessInsider)

https://www.businessinsider.com/5-questions-smart-people-ask-themselves-before-they-speak

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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.