The slow-motion car wreck named Evergrande is now inches from hitting its destined tree. With interest due on its bonds and to lenders this week, there is no more running.
Plenty of movement going on this September. Not only are the ducks headed north, but also students in the U.S. have returned to school, (some) employees are moving back to the office, many corporations are tapping the bond and stock markets, and most football fans are wading back into their stadiums.
The seasonal clock for the U.S. Rocky Mountains is a bit ahead of schedule this year as a drier summer has moved our mountain aspen trees to turn a bit earlier than usual. The northern Colorado aspen are turning now and if you travel out before the first week of October, you should be able to catch some peak days.
As the summer of 2021 draws to its close, we get one final slow week in the markets to relax and enjoy that last bit of fun in the sun.
As expected, COVID cases rose sharply over the past two weeks. And if history is any guide, COVID cases should decline significantly as we enter September. This is what we learned and prepared for over a year ago when we studied the ebb and flow of COVID spread.
That jobs number was smoking on Friday. And it showed that people are getting back to work despite the rising virus wave. With revisions, July's non-farm payrolls added more than a million jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9%.
However, it is looking increasingly likely that one will need both a vaccine card and a mask to join others indoors for a great night out. Both Broadway and the top NYC restaurants have moved toward requirements for both for the upcoming months.
And plastic totes, as well as stacks of monitors and miles of copper and fiber cables. Not to be outdone by our Conshohocken headquarters, the Denver office also moved this weekend to improve our footprint and to take advantage of the post-COVID lease rates.
Surfing became an official Olympic sporting event this year. If you have ever surfed, you know the demands of the sport and are right to wonder why it took so long to make it to the big show. Could there even be a more international sport for all nations that touch an ocean?
I hope so. Looks like a great way to escape. And according to market volumes, news flow and TSA data, many of you might be toes up in the water right now. If so, enjoy the water for me.
If we are raising flags for the upcoming 4th of July celebration this week, then that must mean we are also halfway through 2021. The year has gone super-fast with vaccinations, a return to normal life and good market returns helping to quickly pass the weeks. What a difference a year of incredible scientific advances have done for all of us.
The market didn't see that coming. "Price stability is half of our mandate" led Wednesday's playlist as Jerome Powell and the Fed took the stage to a sold-out crowd of market participants. Unfortunately, the equity longs and curve steepeners were positioned to dance to Prince's "When Doves Cry."
Inflation watching has become the newest, favorite pastime of the markets, the press, and the politicians. And it should be important because inflation is a hidden tax against our earnings and savings.
An appropriate movie line for a current look at the movie theater industry. This is an easy look because we have some direct comps and mergers and acquisitions have run through the movie theater industry forever. I put pen to paper because I was interested.
Our most deserved summer ever officially starts this weekend. I am guessing that many of you will be heading out to set up your permanent summer residences for the day that your kids start screaming Alice Cooper lyrics. Trading volumes will begin to evaporate quickly mid-week and may not return until September with the occasional spurt of activity around employment and inflation releases and a bit during the July earnings reporting season.
Yellow would be my blended portfolio risk advice these days. While there are some areas of the financial market to remain invested into, increasingly, there are more areas to dial back on or avoid completely. Read more in our weekly market commentary.
Even Metallica sounds like Alvin and the Chipmunks at 78 rpm. Sometimes the talking heads on Financial TV sound like Alvin trying to get every word in to explain how their growth stocks can justify current valuations. But it doesn't matter how fast they talk and how many points they make, the market doesn't want to own growth stocks right now. It wants to own businesses where earnings growth is accelerating and where inflation protection might exist.
In this week's market commentary we discuss how the economy is moving and employment has strengthened. Even the most damaged industries are showing signs of recovery.
So where to go? Maybe start with the I's: Italy, Ireland, and Iceland? As announced on Friday, the E.U. is now opening this summer to U.S. tourists. So, grab a roller bag and your proof of vaccination because it is time to hit the skies. I would expect the U.K. to follow very soon in allowing U.S. visitors so that they can fill Heathrow and Gatwick airports and grab some the U.S. tourist dollars gushing like Trevi Fountain.
"I’m haunted by my 2020 capital-gains tax."(WSJ) Could there be a more epic quote for the current state of the financial markets? I could not stop thinking about this quote all weekend. I wish that I could time machine this trader back to 2008 or 2000 and have him experience an 80-90% drawdown in a world-leading company. We are so past closing time for this speculative merry-go-round. But as we all know, the ride can last longer, and the quotes can get more outrageous so keep the tapes rolling.