Investors Don’t Seem To Be Filling Their Stockings With Stocks

Good morning.

Well … with 3 shopping days left before Christmas, investors don’t seem to be filling their stockings with stocks, as markets are seeing a slight decline early this morning. Meanwhile the champagne bottles that were taken out to celebrate a 20,000 close on the Dow are now being put back on ice … as it appears this celebration is delayed for the time being.

There are mixed messages on the economy this morning as GDP for the third quarter was announced as portraying a better-than-anticipated 3.5% annual growth. But seeing a robust fourth quarter result might be in question as Bloomberg is reporting that U.S. spending growth slowed in November. Additionally, the weekly jobless claims number was higher than forecast … but in this regard we are still in expansion territory.

For those who haven’t shopped enough yet and are beginning to panic (“I plead guilty, your honor!”), Amazon is still an option … as the claim is there is still time to order and receive items in time for Christmas. It will, however, be important to keep in mind stories from last Christmas season where delays caused some presents to arrive late … so it might be wise to have a “Plan B” in hand.

I was surprised (pleasantly) by the number of people who wrote following yesterday’s note telling me they, also, did stints as Santa Claus. One dear friend performs at a hospital for very sick kids (including doing so in June for those who might not survive until the end of the year). This takes a certain breed and I am honored to include him in my list of friends.

Another actually had it on his bucket list, and just accomplished this goal …even though he is Jewish! Go figure! Mazel tov!

But I made sure to include an article today for anyone who wants to go for “lessons” to be a professional Santa.

I was talked into doing it at first, and did so begrudgingly … but I learned something in the process.

It actually is a ho ho whole lot of fun.

Have a great day and a wonderful holiday if I’m too lazy to write tomorrow.

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management
(717) 396-1116
wit@teamemerald.com
A Quick Look at the News
December 22, 2016

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA | wit@teamemerald.com


… as of 10:25 AM today …

The American economy proved to be a bit stronger than many thought in the third quarter … providing a sigh of relief to those concerned over the ability to absorb the recent move by the Fed (CNN)

http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/22/news/economy/us-gdp-third-quarter-last-revision/index.html

… although some might point toward higher-than-expected jobless claims … but the number still is below the level considered as an indication of a strong labor market (CNBC)

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/22/us-weekly-jobless-claims-dec-17-2016.html

Don’t get in a fight with the DMV. Uber is finding that out the hard way as they have been told to take their self-driving vehicles off California roads until they adhere to certain rules (APNews)

https://apnews.com/2f0b807545954afda4ad331dd4161011/Uber-pulls-self-driving-cars-from-California-roads

Do you fly a lot? Well … winter weather always seems to make travel interesting … but there are things you can do beforehand to reduce the odds of a problem happening (Bloomberg)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-22/tips-for-avoiding-winter-weather-delays-and-canceled-flights

How often do you meet new people? Well … if you’re like me, you meet lots … go home … and weeks later find a business card and wonder who it is. Following up is important with good procedures to follow (ArtofManliness)

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/08/08/how-to-follow-up-after-meeting-someone-in-person/

How does a better complexion sound to you? How can you accomplish this? With chocolate! By the way, I mean eating it … not bathing in it (Time)

http://motto.time.com/4608969/chocolate-improve-skin/

I got a lot of comments yesterday from readers who also played Santa Claus (and one actually had it on his bucket list). Well, there are Santas … and professional Santas … and yes … reindeer can tell the difference (Vox)

http://www.vox.com/culture/2016/12/21/13922730/professional-santa-claus-job

… and if you still are in search of the perfect gift … take heart! We have Amazon which can still deliver gifts before Christmas (though you might want to have a backup just in case) (USAToday)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2016/12/07/best-deals-on-last-minute-holiday-and-christmas-gifts/95102994/

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