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Good morning.

It is kind of a crazy time right now as we all try to keep up with the virus news. My whole neighborhood is trying to get their hands on testing kits … even as the CDC is putting out notes that the “antigen” test might not accurately pick up Omicron. Still, I impatiently await for own my kit to arrive in today’s mail … not really knowing just what I will do once a result (one way or the other) is received.

Sorry to keep on this topic … so just one more thing … as a relative took a “more invasive” PCR test on Dec. 22nd … and they sent back a positive response … on Dec. 28th … 6 days later. Almost useless. I think the big problem is guidance and views that keep changing … so I just tell people to get fully vaccinated, wear a mask, don’t be stupid and hope for the best.

The S&P is around flat at the moment … and for all the economic doom and gloom I seem to come across, a message that few are highlighting is that we have had 69 record closes for the S&P so far this year. That is 69 evenings where the business news summaries began with the statement, “the S&P closed at an all-time high today” … and yet, this message appears to be getting lost. In a non-virus, non-politically-combatant year we might collectively think that things are pretty good … as a yearly stock market gain of around 27% is not something investors should complain about at all. And if you feel you must complain … I don’t want to hear it.

Last night a friend and I were chatting about the Tesla feature of being able to watch a video while driving … as we wondered who thought this to be a good idea. Well, this possibility has been removed by Tesla … after safety regulators asked what the heck they were thinking … though I will shamefully admit that the screen does give access to the web … and I occasionally have the NFL website up so I can glance over … while driving … to see how many points my Jets are losing by.

But this just gives one indication of how technology could be problematic if not thoroughly reviewed. An important case in point is the last article below … as a 10-year-old girl asked “Alexa” for a creative and challenging idea. The response? The reply was to tell her to take a penny and touch it to prongs of a plug half way out of a wall outlet. Oh my. Using Alexa as a baby sitter has proven, once again, not a good idea.

That about sums thing up for today.

If you note something about my included stories and comments, you will see that I am very careful about giving sources as best I can.

And what if there are just too many authors to cite?

I actually find that to be no problem et al

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 29, 2021

As of 11:51 AM today …

Don’t worry too much about the American consumer. With internet access, even staying home won’t keep us from shopping … as retail sales for the holiday season were strong (FoxBusiness)

https://www.foxbusiness.com/retail/retail-sales-us-grew-this-holiday-season

Of course, we see low unemployment numbers and feel good in seeing it drop … but it seems many of the positions are “bad jobs” … according to this write-up (CNN)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/29/economy/us-economy-bad-jobs/index.html

… but there is hope … as hourly wages continue to rise … and it seems to make sense for employees (who are able to) to look around for higher paying offerings (CNBC)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/29/minimum-wage-employers-moving-faster-than-states-to-raise-hourly-pay.html

And why might people be seeking higher wages? Inflation … for even if you don’t buy any high ticket items … costs for some necessities such as food and transportation should rise (CNN)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/28/business/gas-prices-inflation/index.html

Someone at Tesla thought it a great idea to allow videos to be “on” while driving. While that might be good for people in the back seat, drivers having access is now viewed as a bad concept (NPR)

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/24/1067902504/tesla-disables-video-games-on-center-touch-screens-in-moving-cars

… for it seems playful and creative programmers don’t always think things through … and whoever set up this Alexa response might, tomorrow, be in a different job (BBC)

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-59810383

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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.