The Market Itself Is Awaiting A Storm Of A Different Nature On Wednesday

Good morning.

I have a charity event early this morning (forcing me to write most of my commentary the night before) so even mentioning how the market might open would only be a guess … but wait a minute … that would make it like most days come to think of it. So I might as well make the most of it …

Futures are relatively flat at this moment … as the S&P presently sits in the middle of March above where many thought it would end the year. I just checked on this. Yahoo News, at the end of December, cited 16 top strategist forecasts from leading firms … and the market is now above where 11 of the 16 thought we would be 9 ½ months from now (and 4 of the remaining 5 are just over 1% higher). But that’s okay. I’m sure there will be a big mid-year adjustment and many will have the chance to explain (since they’ve had so much practice with previous views) just why and where their previous forecast went awry.

The start of the week promises to be fairly eventful … weather-wise … as we are expecting a big snowstorm here in Pennsylvania … and it is expected to hit those in New York and Boston much harder.

The market itself is awaiting a storm of a different nature on Wednesday … as the Fed announces its rate decision … although it seems that this (just like the snow to come) has been so well orchestrated that an increase in rates should not be treated as a surprise at all to investors. But the initial rise seems so well baked into the pie … that there might be little market reaction based solely on this. The real fun comes with the almost immediate discussion-to-follow surrounding the next increase … as people with limited knowledge (including me) will broadcast tons of opinions (mostly wrong) … and the investing public, hungry for digestible information, will eat up every word.

Last week was interesting as I hadn’t seen a friend in a very long time. The very first thing he says? “You put on some weight.” My friend Stanley will soon be my ex-friend Stanley with comments like that. Regardless, it is time to cut down or I won’t fit into my summer bikini … so if you see me at our St. Patrick’s Day event on Thursday, I won’t be running around with a large glass of Guinness. I will definitely switch to something much lighter.

On a final note, the other day Brian Wesbury of FirstTrust brought out a statistic that was quite pleasant to see … pointing out the rate of cancer deaths (of all types) continues to decline in the U.S. Of course, learning to question everything lately (fake news!), I checked this out with the American Cancer Society and it is, in fact, quite true.

The charity event I am going to this morning is Coaches vs. Cancer and some well-known coaches in the area raise funds – as they have been doing for years – to continue the fight against this terrible disease. The message will be that even if we see cancer on the run … there is still quite a long way to go.

Sadly, in my review I also saw that cancer is the second leading cause of death among kids 1-14 years old … kids who haven’t even had a chance to live!

We will look at the market, politics, the weather … and curse the ticker tape, the television, the skies … and each other. But let’s keep in all in perspective.

Compared with what many others are facing … we haven’t a thing to complain about.

Have a great day.

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 337-9230 ext. 6
wit@teamemerald.com

A Quick Look at the News
March 13, 2017

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

… as of 4:15 AM today …

The Fed is about to raise rates … at least according to most economists … but is this something to worry about? Probably not, according to some who feel the boost (and a few more) is already baked in the pie (BusinessInsider)

http://www.businessinsider.com/fed-rate-hikes-not-yet-a-cause-for-worry-2017-3

… but for those who are stock pickers … you will want to keep an eye on moves by the administration … for example, changing rules on auto emissions … good for car manufacturers … but bad for our lungs? (CNN)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/12/opinions/auto-industry-emissions-trump-threat-becker-gerstenzang/index.html

… although some things are based on rumors … for example … that 5-second food rule … uh, oh … it’s a myth … so it might be best to toss out that meatball you dropped (BBCGoodFood)

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/food-safety-myths

Did you remember to move your clock forward? Personally, I love the extra daylight … but some are claiming the practice should be done away with (Bloomberg)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-10/proof-daylight-saving-time-is-dumb-dangerous-and-costly

… but there is no need to rewind your timepiece … if you happen to own an AppleWatch. Yes … people made fun when it first came out … but a lot of people (including many friends of mine who have one) … feel it deserves a second look (Time)

http://time.com/4644043/apple-watch-series-should-you-buy/

Driving into work I think I’ve see it all … people texting … women putting on makeup … I even saw one guy reading a newspaper! Driving while distracted is tremendously dangerous …so be careful out there (CNBC)

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/10/driving-while-distracted-comes-with-a-hangover-effect-aaa-says.html

If you walk into a Lowe’s store … you might want to try out the virtual reality experience to help you tackle a big project. Why? People have better recall … which many industries are just starting to grasp (CNN)

http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/07/technology/lowes-virtual-reality/index.html

I didn’t know where to put this one, but it is important enough to mention. Starvation numbers are going up around the world. It is pure crisis for many (CNN)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/11/africa/un-famine-starvation-aid/index.html

Another sad story hits close to home (in a nearby Pennsylvania town). A charging hoverboard was the cause behind a fire which ended up causing two to lose their lives. If you have one, get rid of it. It’s not worth the risk (DailyMail)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4306020/Girl-firefighter-die-hoverboard-house-fire.html

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