Stocks are relatively flat, which nowadays means that a transparent-intending Fed Governor hasn’t said anything publicly in the last few minutes.
Actually, Daily Shot claims one of the items blamed for yesterday’s market decline was a Conference Board survey showing consumer expectations dropped to a level not seen in almost a decade … with “inflation expectations at a record high.” But I am a little taken aback about the “inflation expectation” claim … as the chart I reviewed does not go back as far as the Jimmy Carter era … and many of us (okay, some of us) realize that things were so much worse back then.
Even so, inflation is not the only concern … as Mizuho Securities reports worry over future employment. This might be for good reason … as layoffs have begun in some industries … and no one really knows what the economic situation will be even 6 months from now.
This is in the face of some companies … like Morgan Stanley … telling us the worst might not be over regarding stocks … and certain FOMC members are certainly not being shy about warning that another 75 bp (0.75%) increase could be in the cards coming up at the July meeting (as Cleveland Bank President Loretta Meister told CNBC on Wednesday).
One of the items that helped spark demand, of course, was an increase in entry-level wages. I remember at the time that some mentioned certain industries – especially restaurants – might combat both staff shortage and higher pay through automation. It might be happening faster than we know. It has become commonplace to see kiosks appear at places … and more stories are being written about robots (including “Flippy, the hamburger maker”) in kitchens of fast-food facilities. It is only a matter of time before this becomes even more common. Of course, I was thinking about this last night as I was gliding through the EZ-Pass lane at a turnpike exit.
That about wraps it up for today.
I was going to go out at lunchtime during a beautiful sunny day and plant some flowers … but am unable to.
I just realized I hadn’t botany.
Have a great day,
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
cell: (856) 625-7915